Tuesday morning I felt numb. After reading, praying, reading some more, and sitting, even a third cup of strong black coffee didn’t help. Staring out the window at the water-soaked yard after seven inches of rain in the past few days, thinking about the dozens of things I wanted to do. Buy and plant some shrubs? No, I have to stay home and it’s too wet and I have to save money. Get a haircut? Three months since my last haircut and I look like a guy who’s been living on the streets. Or in a cave. But Sportclips has yet to reopen.
My wife walked into the kitchen, saw the blank stare, and asked what was going on. I listed the things I wanted to do but couldn’t.
(I must say God has been especially good to us during this time. My poor hearing and her soft voice combine to make for challenging communications. But in answer to prayer, we’ve been very gentle with each other, each trying to care for the other.)
I decided to take a walk. Put on the walking shoes and a light jacket (with a hood in case of more rain), grabbed the walking stick and headed out the front door. It was gray, cool and damp, and my jacket was too light. The moist wind quickly penetrated my clothes, and my face got cold. Good! At least I was feeling something. It takes about thirty minutes to walk the subdivision, walk east, then north, then south around the cul-de-sac, back north, then west, now south to the highway, turn around and north to home.
There was standing water in the ditches. The sump pump drainpipes gurgled and spewed out more water. Some of the ditch bottoms were un-mowed, and the long grass lay flattened by the flowing water from last night’s rain. A wash-out in one ditch left tree roots exposed; two pine trees, one on each side of the ditch, their roots intertwined in the air. Looked like death.
Then I spied two women coming toward me on the opposite side of the road. They are among the usual walkers in the subdivision, most of whom I know only by sight. They gave a little wave and said, “Hi!” I waved back and for some reason said, “Hello fellow humans!” They chuckled and passed by. Fellow humans.
I miss people! I want to see their smiles, I want to bump into them at the store, shake their hand at church, and high-five my buddies on the golf course. I want to sit with some other old guys at the restaurant, have the waitress pour coffee and bring plates of eggs and bacon and toast, while we talk about the rain or the news or whatever. I want to sing in my loudest voice along with the whole congregation, in a sanctuary so full that I won’t even be heard, joining in a joyful noise lifted up to God, my creator and savior.
Ah! That’s it. That takes away the numbness and the lethargy. “Lift your eyes Bob! Look at me! I AM your God. You are safe in my hands; there’s a room waiting for you in heaven with me. Be patient; rest in me.” “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” Revelation 22:20 (ESV)