Winter started in October this year.
The first flakes fell, soft and quiet and magical, like first snowfalls always are. I ran out the door and stood barefoot in my pajamas on the back porch and showed wide, brown-eyed Leo what snow looked like.
Winter came and winter put down roots.
The cold taking up residence, burrowing down deeper and settling.
I am sitting on the floor in the office with my Bible opened before me, and I’m just this simple woman frustrated by a hole in her kitchen wall, opened up to the book of Numbers.
I stare at the way sun dances through windowpane and across the kitchen floor, warm afternoon sunspots on old wood beaten down daily. The sink is aglow with the light of the afternoon sun and I see that one drop of water, clinging.
It’s barely holding on, hanging to the edge of the chrome faucet and I am spellbound with the beautiful fascination of this ordinary moment.
I feel like that water droplet settled precariously on the rim of the kitchen faucet. How many times have I teetered on the edge, cringing with angst, waiting for the moment the water would come, full-blast pushing me into thin air?
It’s a fierce cold winter and I’m on my hands and knees a day later, scrubbing a toilet clean.
He didn’t go to college and a lot of the world would say he’s got himself into a comfortable dead-end job, and after awhile you start to internalize this.
There’s all these dreams of going places and doing big things and being someone.
And you can’t ever quite get there, past scrubbing toilets and working faithful at the “dead-end job”, because you pinch pennies and you cut extras and it’s still hard to save when you’re making ends meet and there’s medical bills and that health condition you never heard of and didn’t know existed.
(The one you have to contend with.)
I’m all water, wound neatly into a single drop, lingering at the edge of an uncertain life.
Is any life certain? What is certainty in a world that’s gone stark-raving mad?
Where children die from lack of hunger and the satisfied fuss about a burnt dinner or the price of green onions going up.
I bet there’s some people who have never even seen a green onion.
Something is seriously messed up about that.
I scrub the toilet bowl harder. It’s probably clean now, but I’m thinking too hard.
I can feel stuck because I feel like our wheels are spinning and we’re going nowhere and most of Creation would say we’re living an aimless, dead-end life.
We don’t have a five-year-plan or a ten-year-plan, and we don’t know if our roots in Meadville are permanent and yeah, we’re raising a baby we don’t know if we’ll get to keep, and he’s just a carpenter and I just stay at home and love my boys, and no, we didn’t go to college, neither one of us, and yeah, there is a book manuscript stowed away in the attic that’s mostly trash, the image of a dream to one day publish a book.
That’s us in a nutshell, learning to live and love on North Morgan Street with a thousand dreams and a boatload of uncertainty.
A drop of water, clinging to the edge of the faucet, just sure that the stream of water will come and knock us off our feet into thin air.
Ordinary people toying with that question of being someone.
Right there, on the bathroom floor, where I’m knelt at the toilet scrubbing, the sun falls through the window like a whisper from God.
Not much in life is certain for anyone, college degree or not, but God is always certain.
Here. Present in the moment. Pursuing.
For all of you, ordinary beautiful, with unpublished manuscripts and unrealized dreams and “dead-end jobs” and agonizingly repetitive, just-like-the-first-chapter-of-Numbers lives –
God is present and real and chasing you down.
And your uncertain, common life is wild and full of promise, and this is your dare to believe.
That the same God who called out and commissioned conventional fisherman is ready for you, the toilet-scrubbing, baby-burping, dead-end working ordinary beautiful.
And we, the hopeful and believing, sit, a drop of water on the edge of uncertainty, waiting for the Living Water to wash all over us.
He calls and we bow low to the most menial tasks, to whatever we face.
He calls us and we follow.
And this, is the full life…