looking through me

Tag: joy

living in memories

I slid the egg into my coat pocket and headed out the door.

Its cold presence pricked my memory and reminded me of Grandpa taking hard-boiled eggs in his lunch when he worked as a church custodian. I pictured Grandma standing in front of the open refrigerator, hand hesitating in midair, a tiny smile curling the corners of her mouth before she grabbed an egg and placed it in Grandpa’s lunch pail.

I’m sure she grinned all morning in anticipation of the moment he’d be sitting on the couch, chatting with Max, unpacking his lunch. She knew he used the wooden piece on the top of the arm to crack his eggs. I wonder if she had more fun imagining his shock at cracking open a raw egg or him frantically trying to clean egg off the couch’s upholstery.

She never could tell the story without dissolving into laughter. It tickled her every time . . . it took a few years before it tickled Grandpa, though even in his exasperation he couldn’t help but smile and shake his head at the delight it brought her.

This morning I noticed my own smile as I reached for the egg in my pocket. It was hard boiled, but I cracked it in the break room and peeled it over the trash can anyway.

 

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terra firma

Wave after wave sweeps over me:
a friend’s niece with seven days or less to receive a heart transplant,
a dad with young children suffering a series of strokes,
return trips to detox and rehab,
a toddler’s cancer surgery,
early onset Alzheimer’s stealing a family’s mom and grandma,
white blood counts so low chemo can’t be administered
and questions without answers.

In between sets, I find myself treading water and reaching for words like hope and peace and joy.

I reach for them not as life preservers to temporarily keep my head above water—I don’t reach for them with my hands at all. I reach for them with my feet searching for solid ground beneath me.

Because the waves keep coming. The unthinkable situations keep rolling into the lives of those I love. Sometimes they pull us under. But the waves are not all that is real. Terra firma exists.

It is real.

My toes touch it when I sink into truth: “The Lord is near.”

And my feet find their footing.

“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Hope. Peace. Joy.

Jesus.

Terra firma.