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Between the alpha and the omega

by davesandel on October 9th, 2021

Saturday, October 9, 2021                              (today’s lectionary)

Between the alpha and the omega

When I get home from an ultrasound and blood test (early morning, and it took three pokes), Margaret said, “I had a surprise when I woke up this morning.”

Let the nations bestir themselves and come up to the Valley.

There are only supposed to be three things that go wrong at once, right? That’s what I’ve always heard. This time the plaster is falling off her ceiling directly under a difficult-to-access (read: impossible for a normal person) shower drain upstairs. And … well, of course. I took a shower this morning. I love those morning showers.

The doctor let me go early. Nothing wrong with my aging body, not this time. “Go home and fix your plumbing! Celebrate your wife’s birthday!” Since I’m OK, only two of the three broken-nesses have hit so far: the tree limb on the roof and the broken shower drain.

People crowd upon crowd in the valley of decision; for near is the day of the Lord in the valley of decision.

What will happen next? I woke up at 5 to pee, and then laid down till 6:30, listening to my mind wonder about all the things that could happen next. There is an electrical problem I haven’t fixed completely. In the winter any one of our pipes could burst. The mice will be returning soon for their winter hibernation. The car might have a problem on a trip back and forth to Austin.

Sun and moon are darkened, and the stars withhold their brightness. The Lord roars from Zion, the heavens and the earth quake.

This morning, lying in bed, my mind teemed with possibilities. I thought the merry-go-round of catastrophizing would never end. Now they seem to have disappeared from sight. And it’s Margaret’s birthday!

The Lord is a refuge for his people.

Lying there I do remember thinking, after at least 45 minutes struggling to hang on to my merry horse and mostly failing, that “I can turn toward you, God, or away from you.” I think that’s when I caught a breath, grabbed the reins, and swung back on my gaily colored wooden pony. “Let’s ride!” At 6:30 I got up and took that fateful shower, drove in my quite functional car to the clinic, where everything happened like clockwork and I was given a clean bill of health.

Light dawns for the just, and gladness for the upright of heart. Give thanks to his holy name. The mountains shall drip new wine.

But there is a bit of something. I kind of resist taking a nap. For a long time my dreams at night have been muffled and mushy: lost in a city, can’t find my friend, the car has disappeared even though I know the way and all my devices would show me where I parked, I’ve made plans with Margaret but can’t find her. Always, none of my preparations matter in the least. Always, I am lost.

But Judah shall abide forever and Jerusalem, for all generations.

I still need a nap, whether I’m nervous or not. When I lie down I’ll breathe deeply and ask God to quiet my mind. “I’ll turn toward you, Lord, if you don’t mind.” I’ll breathe again, and that breath too, will start down low and rise up into my lungs.

God knows, there is unfinished business with so much of our Stuff.

But there is nothing you have to finish with me, David. With me, a thousand years are like a day. I am the beginning and the end, and all the days between.

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

(Joel 4, Psalm 97, Luke 11)     

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