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Living the questions, listening for answers

by davesandel on November 13th, 2021

Saturday, November 13, 2021                                    (today’s lectionary)

Living the questions, listening for answers

We ranged about like horses, and bounded about like lambs, praising you, O Lord, our deliverer!

Two days of high intensity companionship, six adults, one almost-teenager, two children and a toddler, lots of early Thanksgiving food and Secret Santa gifts, and all of us are exhausted. Chris and Melissa’s family left before six  a.m. today. Everybody else will sleep LATE.

Except maybe Jasper, the toddler, who screams as loud as he can about 5:30 in the morning, so someone will rescue him from his bed, which he can just about get himself out of. One of these days he’ll do just that. Christmas vacation is scheduled as his potty training time. His life is about to change big time.

We played Cranium and Tripoley. We played Thanksgiving and Christmas games. We pinned tails on a turkey, tore Kleenex out of square boxes, decorated two intrepid volunteers as Christmas trees, decorated pumpkins and hid them like Easter eggs, and finally made a Christmas tree out of felt and decorated it with lights and ornaments. Then various of us tried it on, like a dress, or a shirt, or something. And we added, in word and spirit, to Andi’s “Thankful Pumpkin,” which never left its place at the center of our table.

Margaret read the Christmas story. Miles, whose fifth birthday was Thursday, prayed the Thanksgiving prayer. He wants to be a fireman in a few years, and Andi arranged a tour of the local fire station for all of us. He was curious about everything and asked lots of questions. The firemen, who admitted being kids themselves at heart, answered all of them. Their dog Maxwell didn’t talk but licked anyone who got close enough to his loooonnng tongue, while he wagged his very strong tail.

Jesus spoke with his disciples. God will secure the rights of his chosen ones, he told them, those who call out to him day and night. He will not be slow to answer them. He will see to it that justice is done for them quickly.

Jack, who will be 13 on February 24, helped Miles put together his new loom. He also had a long talk with his mom Melissa, sitting in the sun in the front yard. It was 75 degrees today. I interrupted them and they pretended to an American Gothic pose. It’s only about the second picture I have of Melissa not smiling. And this one was sort of a joke, right?

When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?

After they left their sunlit chairs, I sat for awhile in a conversation with John, Mary Kay and Pastor Clarence Rogers, planning the funeral service at Faith Lutheran Church next Friday in Lincoln. I realized how tired I felt, and thought maybe my body was grieving now, giving my mind time for grieving later. I think Mom’s funeral service will be quiet, reverent, and wonderful. I know she is going to enjoy it. I just wish we could talk to her about it over the meal we’ll have afterwards.

Mom filled her life with experiences. Her curiosity seemed unquenchable. No doubt she inherited that from her father, and I inherited it from her. There was never enough time to know all there was to know.

When peaceful stillness compassed everything and the night in its swift course was half spent, Your all-powerful word, from heaven’s royal throne bounded, a fierce warrior, into the doomed land, bearing the sharp sword of your inexorable decree.

That passage is about death, but life too. As one moment dies, another springs to life. Mom rarely settled for easy answers; she much preferred to live the questions, and let answers spring to life when they were ready.

 (Wisdom 18, Psalm 105, 2 Thessalonians 2, Luke 18)

(posted at www.davesandel.net)

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