in his wings

February 6, 2021

I had no words this morning. That happens sometimes; but I feel it with a sort of stammering shame when it happens in prayer. I guess I take it for granted that prayer is an “easy “ language for me, thanks to a combination of preachers/missionary kid upbringing and a wordy/writer’s brain. Embarrassing thing to admit in writing though (ironic, eh?). 

Yeah . . .  “Hello. My name is Anna. I’m a good prayer. Yeah, like the Pharisees-you know them from the Bible, right? Those folks Jesus got so mad at? Yeah, I pray eloquently…” Great resume tag, isn’t it?

So, like I was saying, sometimes my praying words fail me. Sometimes I stammer and stumble and stutter. Till eventually, what comes out is,

God, please surprise us today. Give both GramBea and I something good. Please. Thank you. Amen.

I didn’t know what to want today. Couldn’t think of anything to hope for. Was more inclined to simply try to stumble through the daytime hours and make it till evening when I could sit down with a book and a beverage. These days I find that happens more often than I’d like to admit…

A few hours later I get a text. An unexpected invitation—a request, rather; but to me, it did not come as requests often do to my stubborn and fill-my-time tendency (provoking stress and the worst of me, attitude-wise). Instead, tears sprang, unbidden and, most definitely, unexpected, to my eyes. What I felt in that moment was wanted. And after the feelings that have been prominent for the past few months in my daily life, this wanted-ness came as a shot of pure joy to my heart. I like to present myself as self-sufficient, so far as social needs go. I even convince myself, oftentimes, that I am so introverted that I’m quite content without other people. Except . . . except that I’m not. Except that I, like every other human with every human need, is wholly dependent upon the presence of people—the kind with flesh and bones and close-enough-to-hug-ness.

Lord help me, but that horrifically cheesy purple dinosaur just popped into my head. “I love you. You love me . . .” Go ahead: I dare you NOT to finish that song in your own head. Sorry. You can pummel me later for it ;-)

Sitting down to dinner tonight, I told Peter that I felt the need to write, but hadn’t had anything to actually say. He nodded, and pointed to the window. I gasped, grabbing his arm. “I wanted to take a photo of beauty today,” I told him. “But I didn’t know what to take . . .” There it was, in front of us, daring us to ignore it. Taunting us with a display of audacious pretension.

I thought of the book of Job, when God challenges him with talk of the glory of Creation. Curious about what else the Bible said on this topic, I did a bit of research on references to the sun. One verse caught my attention, striking me with the joy the image provoked. Joy. Peter told me that I need more Joy in life right now. I think he’s right. I know he’s right. And I also happen to know that the One who can actually make that happen knows this need as well . . . and is on the job ;-)

“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.[b] And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” -Malachi 4:2, NLT