Sunday, February 28, 2016

Don't Be Afraid of the Rain

In the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
—Psalm 57:1b

The Weather Channel reports severe weather along the east coast.
Severe thunderstorm warnings scrolled across my TV screen. Meteorologists pointed out the makings of tornadoes. They directed viewers to the safest places to ride out the storms. My church canceled its regular Wednesday night activities.

I called my daughter Emma to make sure she was safe. She answered on speaker phone, and I could hear my two-year-old granddaughter Layla in the background, “It’s storming, Grandma.”

“Yes, it is.”

“Grandma, you’re driving your car?”

“No, I’m home.”

She must not have heard me.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

No Turning Back

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
—Luke 15:17-20

Farm cats are typically outdoor cats that keep undesired rodents from entering the farmer’s house and eating stored grain crops. My mouse-catchers, Sam and Sandy, are tough cats. They’ve weathered many storms, sheltering in the crawl space beneath my house. I was sure they would do the same in the recent blizzard, which blew in on a Friday afternoon.

I fed them well that morning and then settled in myself, bracing for the storm, predicted to rage for a couple of days.

After the sky dropped more than a foot of snow, it gave up its tantrum and smiled brightly on Sunday morning. I emerged from my shelter to shovel and clear a space on the deck, where I placed bowls of cat food and water.  I called for the kitties, but neither came forth. I called again. Still no response.

Shovel in hand, I trudged through knee-deep snow to the entrance to the crawl space. As my boots crunched through the crusty surface, I heard faint feline mews rising from beneath the hatch, now covered with a mound of white stuff. Quickly, I went to work, digging deep, until I had opened up the passage. I called to them, but they didn’t emerge. I called again. Still nothing.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

How Long, O Lord?

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
—Psalm 13:1

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” I echoed the psalmist’s cry, as I prayed once again for the same prayer requests I’ve prayed for twenty years.

“Don’t you know how old I am, how long I’ve waited, Lord?” I reminded Him, while I sipped my coffee at the kitchen table, staring at the wall.

I’m talking to a wall.

“Lord, that’s how I feel! I feel like I’m talking to a wall!” I blinked back tears.

I blinked again. What’s that? I wondered, as my eyes focused on a shiny spot on the wall. A handprint.

That must have been left by my one-year-old grandson, Javier. I figured.

But why hadn’t I noticed it before? Javi hadn’t been at my house since Christmas.