Monday, July 12, 2010

Missing Marc

Marc left this morning for Quebec City. He'll be there a week, working. Well, not really a week, more like four or five days. But it will feel like a week. Or more.

We've known that he was going for a while. He'll be replacing a roof for a dear friend of his, Olivier. We need the money, Marc and Olivier need the time together, and I am just fine here by myself. Just. Fine.

No, really, I am just fine. I haven't missed the blessing in that, either. I have actually never been this "fine" in my life. Secure. Loved. Content. Peaceful. But today I am sad.

When Marc drove away, after leaving ample instructions on things like which newly planted trees not to run over when I mow the lawn this week, I stood in the lane in my nightgown and stared after the car for several minutes. I was holding an egg. There is a nest of eggs in the ditch beside the lane, and Marc had found a fresh egg in it. He had handed it to me as he got into the car, while I promised to remove the eggs so the hens will stop laying in the ditch and return to their nest boxes. I took my egg and went to sit on the front steps. Then, rolling the amazingly perfect, smooth egg around in my hand, I cried. I am really going to miss Marc this week. I thought about how the Bible says that as a married couple, we are "one flesh". I wondered if there was ever a time that the "one flesh" thing is more apparent than when we are separated like this. When we are apart, we each live with a sometimes vague, sometimes more acute sense of incompleteness. It's not a personhood kind of thing - we are both very individual individuals. We are whole in and of ourselves, or at least more whole than we have ever been in our lives and growing in wholeness all the time. Still, right now there is something missing and I know that that missing piece is on his way to Quebec city. He has my blessings, he has my love and prayers, and I know that he is feeling exactly the same way as I am.

So, I sat on the steps and cried. Then I heard a car barreling up the lane. He had forgotten the address and phone number of where he was going. I wiped my tears, not wanting to make his leaving any harder on him than it already was. He went inside and collected the info that he needed, came back out and kissed me, asking me if it was okay if he stayed home to which I replied in the affirmative, laughed at one of the chicks pecking dead bugs off of the front bumper of his car, got in the car and left again. I was not the only one who had been in tears. I cried again.

Then I yelled at the rooster, who was tormenting a flock of about 15 young chickens on the front lawn. He headed off with two of his hens into the front field, where apparently all the good bugs reside. The flock of young'uns scurried off towards their coop en masse, cheeping and fretting all the way. One of the young chicks, a lovely white rooster, quite precociously tried to crow and sounded ever so much like he was crowing through a kazoo. I laugh out loud every time he does this. In the dappled sunlight, the kittens collided in a exuberant chest-bump that left them tangled together and winded on the soft green lawn. Mini, the dog, sat in front of the garage and stared mournfully down the lane at the dust of Marc's departure. Robin, a fledgling robin that we rescued from one of the kittens and are in the process of releasing back into the wild, fluttered past my head to the scaffolding by the house where his little food dish sits. He landed near it, and impatiently announced that it was empty, with cunning hops and chirps. The releasing Robin into the wild thing is obviously moving slowly. Pippin the bunny sat quietly beside me on the step, perhaps in support but probably just waiting to be fed.

My tears dried and the hollow feeling settled into my stomach. It was going to be there for a while. Four or five days. And in the meantime, there are hungry mouths to be fed, lawns to be mowed, poop to be scooped, roads to be traveled, people to be loved, books to be read, and a life to be led.

Is it Friday yet?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

"Love finds her joy in seeing other's crowned..."

I read this passage in a simple little devotional called My Daily Meditation by John Henry Jowett. I love it because it presents such a clear picture of the love of God, and how He expects it to be expressed in our daily lives. It is too easy to say, "I love so-and-so" while still speaking of them unlovingly and treating them with rudeness and disdain. Love is clearly defined in Scripture, and we are given standards by which to measure ourselves against, standards that transcend our words and exalted opinions of ourselves. This particular passage of My Daily Meditation is taken from April 20th, and is based on Romans 12:9 - 18. It challenged me in deep and welcoming ways. I know that I fall below the standard presented here, but I am filled with joy at the wonderful personal relationship that I have with God through Jesus Christ, and the miracle of His renewing of my mind through my heart devotion to Him, and Him alone.

"Love finds her joy in seeing others crowned. Envy darkens when she sees the garland given to another. Jealousy has no festival except when she is 'Queen of the May.' But love thrills to another's exaltation. She feels the glow of another's triumph. When another basks in favour her own 'time of singing of birds is come!'

And all this is because love has wonderful chords which vibrate to the secret things in the souls of others. Indeed , the gift of love is just the gift of delicate correspondence, the power of exquisite fellow-feeling, the ability to 'rejoice with them that do rejoice, and to weep with them that weep.' When, therefore, the soul of another is exultant, and the wedding-bells are ringing, love's kindred bells ring a merry peal. When the soul of another is depressed, and a funeral dirge is wailing, love's kindred chords wail in sad communion. So love can enter another's state as though it were her own.

Our master spake condemningly of those who have lost this exquisite gift. They have lost their power of response. 'We have piped with you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned with you and ye have not lamented.' They lived in selfish and loveless isolation. They have lost all power of tender communion."
My Zimbio