It’s spring, finally.
So Dad’s here on the farm again.
Which means that his grass-stained New Balance shoes are pushed up along that jagged shoreline of footwear in the mudroom. His enormous shoes are like these two canoes anchored next to the girls’ flip-flops. Even my shoes look small, moored next to his boats.
Dad’s always been bigger than life like that to me.
I can’t see him as anything other than the man I walked with every Sunday as a little girl to church. I took two steps for every one of his. We always held hands on the way to the church, Dad and I.
I can’t imagine him ever NOT being here. You know what I mean?
Yeah. You know. You’re mortal, too. You don’t want your people to ever die.
Dad comes to the farm every spring now, and again every fall.
He first showed up to work on the farm a few seasons ago.
He came to fill an empty tractor seat. The seat used to belong to my husband’s father. But a few months after the last grain-wagons were emptied in 2008, my father-in-law passed away. The cancer spread fast.
His last orders to his son, before he left for the hospice house, were scratched on a scrap of paper: “Scott needs a hired man.”
Now, we playfully call my dad “The Hired Man.” Maybe it’s a way of being sure that each of us remembers whose request we’re honoring here. I type out notes to the Hired Man in the “Hired Man’s Quarters.”
I hope I get to write these notes to the Hired Man for years, but we never really know about these things, do we? A few months ago, doctors said Dad had a “close call” with his heart.
He has a pacemaker now. Dad said he’s feeling a bit lucky to be here this spring.
I don’t know if I’ve ever appreciated those New Balance shoes by my door more than I do this spring.
We’re all born and raised in this lap of uncertainty. Or maybe this is the lap of God. If we’re honest, most of us have been known to confuse the two laps.
Maybe that’s what C.S. Lewis meant when he said: ““We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
Life on Earth is painful. And it’s utterly splendid.
Life is a daily jumble of agony and rejoicing. Scroll down your Facebook feed if you don’t believe me. Look what’s happening to your friends, to your world.
This week, someone I know died much too early, at age 25. I weep.
But this! Two friends are winging their way to Haiti to meet their baby, Gracie.
Over the weekend, I hugged my Mom, who’s in her seventies. On the flipside, a mother I know grieved the anniversary of her child’s death.
And of course this: We rejoice over the freed captives, but anguish over anyone who could commit evil for ten years, undetected, right in the middle of the neighborhood.
The world is a hard place to live, and it’s an astonishingly lovely place to live.
Pardon me for the cliche, but the cliche is true and repeatable–
We don’t know what tomorrow holds. So we’ve simply got to trust the one Who holds tomorrow. Call me simple-minded — I probably am — but I believe that Someone Else has. it. under. control, even when every ounce of life appears out of control.
I throw my hands up in the air a lot of times. I do. I ask God to help me navigate the agony, to trust Him in the sorrow. But I also thank Him in those blissful moments, and utterly praise Him for his forever love.
Tonight, I went to the mudroom to straighten shoes on that footwear-shore.
And there they were: those grass-stained New Balance tennis shoes — those canoes by the door — making my mind stay fixed to the truth.
Two grass-stained shoes — bigger than life — felt like an anchor.
So, what’s your Story? A #TellHisStory is any story that connects your story into the story of God.
For details on the #TellHisStory linkup, click here. Be sure to find someone (or two) in the link-up to encourage with a comment. Come back on Friday to visit our Featured #TellHisStory, in the sidebar.
Your words matter to God. They matter to people. And they matter to me!
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