“It’s been quiet lately, Lord.” Not a complaint, or a petition for intervention. More of an expressive sigh from heartache as of late. What I would do for something, anything from God, to know He is near.
A knock at the door hours later, indicated by the bellowing bark of Oscar the unruly Border, revealed a shift from bathroom surroundings to create rule to my unruly mane atop my scalp.
Really, I decide to go a shade lighter, and now my hair is the consistency of straw. ‘Fix it and forget about it’ has never been my motto so I toil in an effort to make it out the door in a timely manner without being late for my coffee meeting. Ok, coffee with a friend. When unemployed I need validation that the air I breathe is not exactly useless and I am a viable creature not just consuming air—so, yes, a meeting.
Anyway, Bill strolls in and says our neighbors are here and want to meet with us. I can’t walk out mid-hair disaster, so I tell him I’ll be right there, knowing these next minutes will steal the last remaining moments to fix the tresses.
This is the second time in hours when the doorbell rings to warn of neighborly intrusion. One hour before midnight of the New Year another guest arrives, with son in tow, to deliver sweet goodies when my mangy Maltipoo escapes at the crack of the door and attempts to attack poor boy with her toothless bite, startling him and mom and me as I attempt to bring her back, while simultaneously attempting to prevent a pajama malfunction, which would scar more than Gracie’s gingivitis gums.
Anyway, back to the moment.
“Tell them I will be right there.”
It has been quite a Day One of 2017 already with a visit to the med clinic. I’m convinced the physician received a consultation from Google to diagnose the diagnosis I already received myself via Internet.
“Yes, it appears to be Shingles.” He says.
“Oh, thank you for your affirmation–and hefty bill.” I say to myself.
Apparently I am not handling stress as fluidly as I feel since these nasty craters all over my midsection indicate a disturbance just under the surface.
Anyway, back to the unexpected arrival from our sweet neighbors. They took temporary residency next to us while their permanent residence is under construction up high on a hill with a hill country view. Still, nice friendly people to share space, with the exception of one small, unobstructed view into their living room from our back deck.
I stride in hoping my smile deflects the matted mess atop my head and heaviness underneath that wants me to hide away, as I attempt sincere elation at their unannounced presence.
“Oh, hi, how are you?” Wondering if I should say something before she steps into my infected space for a hug, or just allow it and hope for the best, and feel residual guilt later for not indulging evidence of the nastiness underneath the light layer of clothing; especially since her immune system is already compromised and this could be bad for her wellbeing.
“Wait, stay back. Don’t hug me– I have shingles.” She backs away mid-embrace.
They both give empathetic gestures, because honestly they’ve been through a cancer scare only over a year ago, but with a more encouraging remission report. Still, I know they know, you know?
So, she says with the most genuine expressive smile I’ve seen in ages that they have just the right medicine for us. I interrupt the prescribing to let them know I’ve received a prescription already, when she interrupts my interruption with the reason why they came– to offer us time away in Hawaii at one of their condo timeshares.
I turn away to fight off tears of shock and true elation, combined with a knowing that there is only ONE outside of my immediate realm who would know of my desire to go back to our dream destination.
Really God? I would have taken a text message from a stranger to feel Your nearness, but You give more than we can ask or imagine, now don’t You?
Interestingly enough, He chose to reveal His nearness through neighborly loved ones.
I think of the times as of late I’d rather confine my heartache then express it or allow others to feel it as well. Usually with a smile. If I engage my pearly whites and say I’m ok, then you and I don’t need to feel uncomfortable and either divert eye contact or talk of others we know, just outside our immediate circle, with struggles we may care about but are not necessarily close enough to involve intense emotion.
So, I desire a small wall of obscurity to confine the contents within, yet, God knows I need intimacy with others. Because, they hold the arms in which He desires to hold me in.
“Lord, breach the walls of my desired obscurity so I allow others in. “