E-Letter #159

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in Devotions | 0 comments


The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.  So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. John 3:8 (NRSV)


The Wind, Unboxed


I study the curvature of my grandson’s 10 year-old shoulders and head hunched over his latest Rube Goldberg science project designed to hoodwink curious leprechauns. “Mom, do you know where I left that purple mechanical pencil?” he calls out with the confidence of a child who believes that mothers are a special breed born with third eyes in the backs of their heads and minds that can magically read other minds and x-ray eyes that can see around corners and through dense objects. And again, “Mom, did you get the green spray paint?” Which she did, of course, in her “free time” on Monday after learning about this latest fourth grade homework assignment the night before just as her son was ready to hop into the shower after a weekend full of activities – karate, a fun run around the state capitol’s gold dome, a haircut, perfecting flips on the trampoline, skimming a library book, mastering Mario Kart who-knows-what-number, catching up on a week’s worth of Pokemon cartoons, and probably swallowing whole a fast, fast, fast take-out meal at McDonald’s. I think, how like his father at that age who often let slip at the very last minute, a homework assignment which he announced in a panic-stricken voice, “Mom, I gotta have some posterboard tomorrow to finish it up!  Can we go to Office Depot and get some?” And, nine times out of ten, I, of course, was up to my eyeballs in school work, church work, house work, volunteer work, work work and could only respond irritably, “You’re gonna have to ask your dad to get some for you because I’m too busy! You know the rules! No Mom requests for magic markers, Elmer’s glue, spray paint, alphabet stencils or poster board between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.” And every time those words came out of my mouth my stomach would churn as I realized that this day – all 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds of it – was gone, over, up in smoke, DONE, and there had not been a minute for myself. To slow down…to pause…to quiet the voices in my head…to reflect on the One Word I Needed To Hear…the Word that would soothe my frazzled spirit and calm my revved-up soul running on overtime. What’s more, as I reached into my brief case and pulled out my DayTimer, I would realize that I faced another one just like it, booked and double-booked with appointments, events, phone calls, conferences, meetings, and Very Important Dates for which I would undoubtedly be late, late, late! Like every other parent of school children, working or non-working (is there such a thing?), many nights I turned the lights out after midnight –  exhausted, depleted, winded, dispirited –  after a day of burning my candle at both ends. And now, on this glorious day some 20, 30 years later, I recall those spirit-zapping, energy-winnowing days as I drive home from work, my windows open and my arm twirling through the air, hoping to catch the first wild spring breezes spinning like dervishes through the nearby fields. Intrigued, my eyes follow a brown tornado of brittle leaves – suddenly and without warning – whipped up by a young buck of a spring breeze.  I follow the tornado’s trail as it twirls roughshod over the yellow cups of a secret stand of thirsty daffodils while playing catch-me-if-you-can with the white lacy outstretched arms of some Bradford pear trees standing sentinel along a winding path leading to where? Wondering, I respond to the allure of the unknown and carefully edge the nose of my Honda around the stony path’s potholes. Ah! I smile with delight as I round an unforeseen curve and am greeted by a rug of purple henwert dancing across the rolling waves of a greening pasture like a low-flying Aladdin’s magic carpet. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of the wind teasingly lifting the lime-green skirts of a gaggle of cypress trees, looking for all the world like a group of giddy schoolgirls. And somehow, with a power not my own, my foot moves off the gas pedal and my car coasts to a stop. “Where am I?” I ask myself as I loosen my fingers gripping the steering wheel and lean back in my seat. And then I hear it with the ears of my heart, the One Word I Need To Hear telling me that I have arrived who-knows-where?  In grateful response, I turn off the car’s engine for who-knows-how long to listen to the arboreal giggles resounding through a Rube Goldberg field as the wind blows willy nilly playing hide-and-seek with curious leprechauns…and my spirit soars!