Rain, an unmetered percussion, played its muffled beat around me. The song composed of raindrops on leaves, on dirt, on branches was tender and sweet during the afternoon shower that washed the leaves, the ground, the earth around me.
Abiding in shadows of fading light, another day rolled quickly away. I sat under my cedar covering listening for the small Voice of the Big God.
The leaves have turned---the sumac vermillion, the hickories ochre. I spot a sweet gum---it’s leaves like stars, each one choosing a color of its own. One was trying on purple.
I am turning too. I noticed my skin softening, the lines and spots of age appearing here and there upon my flesh. I have entered the autumn of my life.
The question before me: What is life going to look like for me in this season?
I go the yard to contemplate my question----a question heavy on my mind for too many months now.
I wait long for the answer.
Two of my babies no longer sleep under the roof of our house. My youngest will lay his head down here for a little while longer.
In just days, he’ll climb into the driver’s seat of a car. In a breath, Jeff and I will be back where we started, just the two of us----only wiser from living so many sunrises and sunsets.
Not long ago I was living the summer of my life. I had three that depended on me.
The baby tussled my hair sitting in his backpack. Having him there freed my hands. Those hands held on to his brother and sister. My baby's lives encircled mine. Together we ventured out to discover the world in spring of their lives.
Summer is over. My hands are free.
Under the cedar, I held empty hands out before my God.
I whispered a prayer in the rain, “Lord, what do you want to do with these hands? I don't know what to do with empty hands. I need you to show me."
Up in the kitchen, the pot of pintos I started in the pressure cooker earlier soaked in their muddy brown pot liquor awaiting a warm-up. Turnip greens simmered in bacon drippings. Sweet potatoes roasted in the oven. Only the cornbread needed my attention.
Light fading, I pulled away from the “small space.” I headed back to attend to my life. The rain shower was ending as I slipped back in the kitchen and picked up the stirring spoon.
Hands held out to God are meant to serve.
I served supper last night with holy hands.
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.
(Matthew 25:34-36 NLT)I fed my man and my boy. And I fed Jesus.
I got the answer to my prayer---the one lifted to God in the shelter of cedar wings.
Counting Graces with Ann:
-bread pudding with chocolate sauce
-a daughter who is my friend
-remembering God's faithfulness with good friends
-the sure hope of heaven
-a text from the girl who loves her "mommas"
-the pain that comes with beauty