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Learning to live like a believer

by davesandel on September 25th, 2021

Saturday, September 25, 2021                       (today’s lectionary)

Learning to live like a believer

The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.

Miles and Jasper couldn’t wait to get into the pool. Jasper brought his swimsuit to me, basically pulled off his own diaper, and ran through our apartment door as soon as we opened it. He’s two and a half feet tall, weighs 27 or so pounds, and runs like the wind-with-a-diaper-on.

We stepped into the kind-of-cold water of the pool. Jasper and I were together, and although it took his breath away, he got right down in the water with me. After awhile in the big pool we followed Margaret over to the warmer whirlpool, and she pulled out some brand new floaties. Three frogs, two fish, a couple of crabs, a spouting whale and spitting shark, an octopus and one lovely yellow starfish, smiling out at all of us.

They floated, and the kids corralled them, and then pushed them out into the water, and then corralled them again.  Jasper couldn’t believe his luck; we had three frogs! He jumped up and down in the water. He screamed. “Frawwwgggggs!”

He tried to eat one, but it didn’t fit well into his mouth. That reminded me of Shannon’s childhood hog snake story. He and his friend found one of those snakes at a local lake, watched it flatten its head like a cobra, then play dead and discharge a horrible smell, and then finally slip away.

Hog snakes love to eat frogs, and frogs puff themselves up to make themselves too big to swallow. But the hog snake’s rear fangs are especially good at popping those frog balloons, and then the frog’s a goner. Jasper just put his frog back on the edge of the pool. The yellow starfish beamed at him. He smiled back just as wide. Gradually, the floaties started talking to each other, and I thought he seemed tempted to talk back. He is shaping out a few more words.

I will turn your mourning into joy, console and gladden you after your sorrows.

Before we got to the pool I stepped on Miles’ ankle. That was painful, and he cried awhile. No place to put a band-aid, he just had to wait it out. That took time, and it was hard to turn his attention to something else. On the way back to their house I reached for something in the back seat and my shoulder cramped up. I moaned. Miles asked, “Do you have to go to the pyro-tractor, Grampa?” Margaret thought he said, “prayer doctor.” “No, Grandma, the pyro-tractor.” Miles was patient with her. Margaret prayed anyway. I was OK in a few minutes.

I will be for you an encircling wall of fire, and I will be the glory in your midst. Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! I am coming to dwell with you.

The joys and sorrows of the day were quickly forgotten, in favor of whatever was coming next. Jasper rubbed our sweet corn with a new veggie brush. Miles set the table with plates and forks and knives. Margaret made round steak in our insta-pot. Everybody took a turn at mashing potatoes. And I provided dessert: vanilla caramel ice cream drumsticks. Those guys ate like roustabouts.

We had to go back to their house eventually. We watched the fire in the sunset sky. Miles told us, “The sun rises in the east, and the sun sets in the west.” He pointed toward the orange horizon. “That must be west, right Grandpa?”

Back home, Margaret and Miles planned a date just for the two of them sometime soon and read a story. I read one to Jasper. After he was settled I sat beside his bed awhile in the dark and told a story about a firetruck that rescued people, and how the fire people helped get kitties out of trees, and people out of windows, and then we prayed for the pyro-tractor and angels around his bed, and pretty soon he was sound asleep. My stories often do that to people.

Jasper and Miles had a good fine day with us, and at the end of it we were all sleepy and went to bed and slept like rocks.


(Zechariah 2, Jeremiah 31, 2 Timothy 1, Luke 9)

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