Under my roof the dryer tumbles and rumbles and hums its white noise roar. And on the screen Isaac blows all blustery hues of cool blue and fire-hot red. Water droplets on the camera lense make the picture blurry, foggy, out-of-focus. But the story behind the blur screams loud and clear, even though the sound is muted.
There is suffering and there is pain. There is hurt and there is loss. Lives are being torn upside down and inside out.
Three left my home this morning for school, one for work and one remains. He leaves later to work and live, outside of this nest now. This man/child home only for a visit.
And I have a friend I mentor, she is in middle school. I don’t know how her first week of school is going. I need to call. She goes to the top of my heart to-do list, which is not as it sounds. She is precious. She is precious to me. My heart weeps to know her heart. I feel behind in my intentional relationship building, in my loving and helping her. I will ask to have lunch with her at school this week and pray God redeems the time between the times we’ve had together, in relationship.
Never have I wanted to freeze living like I do now. Stop time. It is too wonderful to go at the current speed. To savor, it needs to be reduced to slower motioned living. But God. But God in His wisdom designed it to move at this very pace and speed. Every day I mark. Every day I burn the memories in. Its the Senior year for one and the Junior year for another. For the senior, a series of lasts.
She said you are right to mark, and remember and burn in your memory and write and photograph it all. And that the fast approaching empty nest will be a glorious other chapter for the Patient One and me.
But for now I balance a wild love for family with a burning desire to serve. To do and be both and. To serve Him by serving my family well and by loving and serving others well. Those hurting deeply. The suffering souls who long for the love of Christ to be shown by the hands and feet of Christ.
And in the breath right next to the breath about savoring and marking, she and I begin to plan our Haiti Mission trip. My heart leaves them. My heart stays with them. I may miss a volleyball game or a basketball game or the joy of a red-letter day in the life of a 2012 American Teen. Or I may miss the chance to comfort a daughter or console a son.
Monday morning, wheels rolling north down a four lane highway I stopped behind two cars stranded and stopped in the middle of traffic. One was helping the other and I made a third car stopped in the middle of the highway. He said I am trying to help her and I asked what can I do. They had not called the Highway Patrole. The potential for injury and a collision was real. So I stopped and cars honked at me. I was inconvenient. I was in the way. I was trying to help.
She looked scared and she looked afraid. I asked her several times what can I do? Her eyes pleading for help. He was helping re-start the car. I was trying to help console her heart. I asked her if I could help. And told her I had called the Highway Patrol. I wanted to pile three strangers in my car and take them somewhere. But they were safely waiting in the grass. So I left once, came back again and checked on her. And said God Bless. In the strange ways of crossing paths with strangers daily, I may never see her beautiful face again. Ever. Our worlds are far apart. Our lives are lived out very differently. I hope my anemic effort to love on her in passing was enough. I long for those quick decisions made in the middle of honking annoyance to have shown compassion.
September is Blogging Month for Compassion International. I want to make a difference with my writing. I pray that God will use my words to make an impact. How does a mother with a computer and three children, a husband, three dogs and a cat use her words to change hearts.
God can use mothers at home with children. God uses mothers at home with children. And God can use me. It is not because of anything I can do, but my willingness to be obedient and to be used by Him. That is hard to say. It is humbling. While my efforts may feel anemic, His love and His power and His Desire to use each one of us for His purposes is supernatural.
And when I in my weakness can’t balance my roles under this roof with my desire to serve beyond my four walls, He in His power strenthens me. Helps balance me. Calls me. Nudges me lovingly. I am weak but He is strong. I have known this. I know this.
I want to go to Haiti in September instead of January. Because now with Isaac the need feels more pressing. More immediate. I want to call and see if the Doctor heading up the trip has room next month. But unless I hear from Him, I know not to move ahead of His plans and His call.
So I have the privilege of pulling out my little calendar and marking the volleyball and soccer games. And marking the days I plan to write for Compassion. And pray that my young friend will let me have lunch with her at the middle school.
And I pray for courage to stop in the middle of the busy road daily to help. To serve in the now. To look in love for ways to show compassion in the now. And to savor like a wafer thin Life-Safer, these moments with my children as we so bitter sweetly move toward an empty nest.
And I pray that I will learn my new neighbor’s first name so that I can be intentional about speaking in love to him. We passed him the other day and I told The Patient One until I learn his name, his name will have to be “Morning”.
There is work to be done at home.
And there are children, like my Compassion Sponsored Child in Peru, who need the love of Jesus today. And there is a grown child waking up in the other room who still needs his mother’s love.