On this last Sunday of August 2017, I’m sitting barefoot on my deck reflecting on the week that has just passed. Perhaps you and I have had some similar experiences and thoughts during those days.
Sunday, August 20 – At church, I was reading a list of adult classes to be held this fall. What caught my attention was the very first class, one to be held at 8:15 a.m. on Sundays for men only. It was the ONLY class to be held at 8:15 on Sundays! I’m not one to make quick decisions, and we rarely arrive at church before 9:00, but the calling was clear. So, I committed to lead a class for women only at that early hour beginning September 10. Regular readers know that I’m a fan of Love & Respect Ministries and have taught their “Respectfully Yours” course to wives so many times that I may be able to do it with my eyes closed.
Monday, August 21 – I had made no preparations for the Great American Eclipse and anticipated a normal day at home alone. When morning tasks and lunch were over, I saw an on-line video on making an eclipse projector from a cereal box. . Dave had just emptied his Cheerios box, so I whipped up the viewer and headed outside, feeling slightly embarrassed about my neighbors seeing me having fun with my projector alone.
I stood with my back to the sun and moved the box until the sun shone through the pinhole in the foil, casting a TINY image on the box bottom. There was a little dark dent in the sun! I spent the next couple of hours checking on the progress of the eclipse, chatting with Facebook friends about their viewing experiences, and sharing my cereal box with the paper carrier. He and I talked with our backs to the sun while the moon moved across the sun. We noticed the slight change in temperature as it grew noticeably darker in our Ohio location. A neighbor from two doors down walked over to give us a quick look through his eclipse glasses.
Later, I called my mom to see how her day was going and tell her about my fun. She had watched eclipse coverage on TV and was happy to see reports of large gatherings of people where “no one got shot.” I agreed. The eclipse brought people together to share wonder.
Tuesday, August 22 – Instead of playing outside with neighbors and a cereal box, I needed to drive to Wheeling for medical tests. At 56, there are more and more potential health issues that need to be monitored. One cropped up in 2016 when I saw my doctor about some shoulder pain and had x-rays that revealed abnormalities in my lungs. Some physical therapy helped my shoulder, but now I’ve added a pulmonologist to my list of doctors. I have no symptoms and last year’s blood work and scans did not bring an explanation, so I did follow up breathing tests on Tuesday. That evening, my husband and I enjoyed our walk uphill through the neighborhood and witnessed a breathtaking sunset. It was every bit as awesome as Monday’s eclipse. Wonder!
Wednesday, August 23 – In the morning, I continued to pray for a nephew in his 30s who had open heart surgery on Monday. In the afternoon, I gathered materials and made photocopies in preparation for the Understanding the Bible class that will begin on September 6. Summer is slipping away.
Thursday, August 24 – Our summer project of redoing a bathroom got to the point where we needed our plumber to hook up water to the new toilet and faucet. That happened on Thursday morning. After lunch, I drove a few blocks to our Council of Churches Food Pantry to work with others from our church. Twenty-five people came through to pick up food for their families. I am usually assigned to working behind the counter, selecting and bagging frozen meat for the clients. This week I had the opportunity to interact with each one as he or she chose several bread items. Seeing some of their physical problems and hearing of a few of their hardships was heartbreaking. Life is hard. I hope each one was half as blessed by the food as I was by the giving of it.
Friday, August 25 – I spent the beautiful day getting a haircut, having lunch out, and hitting some clearance sales at our mall, while being aware of the growing concern that Hurricane Harvey could devastate eastern Texas. Harvey made landfall as a category 4 hurricane at 10 p.m. central. That began a trial for many people that continues as I type this on Monday afternoon. Another nephew and his family are waiting at this moment to be rescued by a boat. Many prayers being said.
Saturday, August 26 – My husband and I spent the afternoon installing a lighted medicine cabinet, two shelves, two towel holders and our toilet paper holder. The bathroom project is nearly complete!
After dinner, as Dave was mowing the lawn, I started thinking and praying about this week’s blog topic. The eclipse had overshadowed some of the tragedies and crimes that come so often we can’t keep track of them. But the Charlottesville showdown between white nationalists and counter protesters of August 12 has remained in the news and on my mind. I wondered whether I could collect my thoughts about the controversy surrounding Civil War monuments and the current focus on racism in America. What resulted was a sheet of paper filled with over a dozen questions. A lot is being said. For now, I’ll do some listening and reading, keep praying and pondering, and strive to love my neighbor as myself. Today that includes making an on-line donation to the American Red Cross on behalf of the people of Texas.
The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.