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Tender in the night

by davesandel on July 26th, 2021

Monday, July 26, 2021                                   (today’s lectionary)

Memorial of Saints Joachin and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Tender in the night

Moses turned and came down the mountain with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands. But as Moses and Joshua drew near the camp Moses saw the calf and the dancing. His wrath flared up, he threw the tablets down and broke them on the base of the mountain.

Yesterday we had a real Sabbath. Not restful, exactly, but full of praise and joy. Church at Grace, where our friend Pam sang in the congregation, and two people complimented her voice. “Where is that voice coming from?” one woman asked her husband.

Aaron said to Moses, “You know how prone the people are to evil. They said, we don’t know what has happened to Moses, so make us a god to lead us. I threw their jewelry into the fire, and this calf came out.”

Today was Pam’s birthday! We joined another birthday celebration around a teppanyaki table and then met Miles and Jasper, Aki and Andi at our apartment pool. Time got away from us after that, and we all had supper together, pineapple and black cherries, Japanese steak and vegetables and red curry and BBQ and fig newtons, which was kind of just the tip of the foodie iceberg. The kids had to go to bed; after they left we watched the first episode of The Chosen and the Olympics. Sleep for everyone came quickly and well.

Moses went back up the mountain and asked God to forgive the people for their sin. “If you will not, then strike me out of the book that you have written.”

Today I plan to be in the drive-up line at Travis County’s Tax Office to get Margaret’s handicap card for our car. It opens at 8. I figure if I get there by 7 I will have a fairly short wait, an hour plus another hour at the most. And maybe I’ll even be first in line, although I doubt it. This reminds me of Black Friday after Thanksgiving at Best Buy in Evansville, then Champaign. The line wound around the building, but some of those folks slept in line for hours to get a computer or TV, or maybe just because the whole thing was kind of fun.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

Pam will be heading home tomorrow to Cave-in-Rock. She and Margaret shared stories and tasks and shopping and meals. We’ll miss her a lot. She picked up all the nursing, lovingly. Life has been easier with Pam’s gentle, softening spirit around us.

Think about when Moses left his people to head up the mountain to meet with God. I hope we can do better than the Israelites when Pam leaves, listening to God through each other rather than to our own echoey strident selves.

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. It is the smallest of all the seeds yet when full grown it is the largest of plants.”

Margaret goes to bed early, like at 7:30 or 8. She “retires” to her quiet cozy darkened bedroom to become still. She might listen to a mystery, or watch an episode of Monk, or do a little online shopping. Whatever she does quiets her heart after being with all the people. She might love being with them, but she’s exhausted afterward.

So when she goes to bed, I have been making it a point to go in and sit with her a moment, rub her neck, and pray. Quiet times with each other like this sweeten our pot so much. The next morning comes and we rise together to meet it.

The mustard seed becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.

I imagine Moses was an introvert, like Margaret. Did anyone rub his neck at the end of the day? Aaron seems to have been very busy with his end of things. Joshua and Moses were the bosom buddies. But I don’t always think of Joshua as being particularly tender.

(Exodus 32, Psalm 106, James 1, Matthew 13)

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