Words come with difficulty this week, perhaps a bit of wash out in my creative pallet. Summer shines and hints of freshening rain, browned grasses and seas of white clover blossoms fail to generate the usual phrases and accompanying metaphors. Or metafives for that matter. Even the simile and pun hides in the deeper caverns of the right brain. I twist the globe-key that winds the music box inside Merlin’s statue, he the wizard of so much of my solace times. The metallic clinks more frequent, I fret that I turned to this relic and fear its demise, the loss of the tunesmith’s melody. God’s blessings have been rich in the week past, time and work shared with daughters and son to remodel 42 year old cabinets and freshen the kitchen. Laughter mingled with brow dripped sweat and bantered complaints and sarcasms pressed the love of family into each nail pulled and each screw driven. Odds and ends remain, the love now in the core of my home. As I grew up, every family gathering began around the stove with sneaks of tastes and “come on, mom, ain’t it done yet” whines. Even the home-packed, after church Christmas Eve brought all the adults to the kitchen to chat – the home fire always strongest there.
Cherise lounges on the couch, likely victim to a bit of food poisoning. We dined out for her 14th birthday and this “gift” certainly didn’t come pleasantly wrapped or draped with a nice card. National Treasure flickers from the TV, repeated entertainment to help forget the discomfort of steady nausea and the blues about missing company try-outs at the dance studio. Disappointments and accepting them comes with difficulty in young life – in all life for that matter. Loss comes to quicker closure. Not so this thing called disappointment. Many “could’ve, should’ve, wish I’d, and if only’s” create lingering sadness, a rueful resonance that clings to days and makes happy a distant cousin.
Jesus certainly, in action and word, showed us the way to handle such times. His brief life certainly filled with “disappointments,” moments when we humans would just shake and hang our heads with a sighed “why?” and building anger. The night before He was to die, Jesus’ disciples fell asleep as He prayed in Gethsemane. Peter betrayed Him, denied knowing Him. He was badgered with “Do you know what you’re doing” style questions and people most certainly did not get His message of love, forgiveness and grace. At birth He faced Herod’s death squad. The simplicity of His great love led to countless efforts to entrap Him in blasphemy – think what repetition does to parents when pestered by children’s demands and efforts to generate contradiction. “But you said….” We get angry, they win.
Perhaps the Father had a special comfort for Jesus in those last moments on the cross. A criminal hanging with Him got it – “Truly you are the Son of God.” For me, that gives such power to Christ’s final words, “It is finished.” If but one comes in His name, there He will be.
I know, odd to think of Easter in the heat of early August, in the wither of plant life begging water. The month brings September thoughts and the “gee, summer just started” issues of back to school supplies and clothes. Parents think of new jigs to dance at the thought of a bit less arguing, a bit less headshaking at the magnitude of selfies, snapchat, instagram, text, and nose in the cell life. “Text me when dinner’s ready ma….” Back when we were kids – – and we are disappointed. But, perhaps we need to accept a bit of Merlin’s magic in this new age. Jesus’ patience with the difficulty of change teaches us well. There was a moment for His anger, that day in the temple with money changers. Our Shepherd guided and our daily disappoints perhaps shouldn’t amount to that “hill of beans” I heard so much about. These things teach and mold, maleate the metal of our temperaments if we but accept and heal. And perhaps fold hands and bend a knee. Lord knows Jesus certainly did that in His human agonies. Appropriately, the cell phones chimes interrupt this effort, break the wandering thought train. Better get it, might be the dishwasher delivery notice, don’t want to miss that. I’d be disappointed.