Sixteen days in Seattle! Feels like forever. Time, days, time zones have all melted together since leaving the Gulf Coast just a month ago. I’ve loved this city from afar …. and now to be here, well it’s almost natural!
When I think of all we’ve done in the past 16 days … waiting in lines, waiting in traffic, looking for jobs, waiting for interviews, looking at houses, waiting on application responses, the refined art of waiting has kicked in. It flows from that slower southern pace of life that will always be a part of me. I mean, really! Come on now! Where else can you put a jar of water with teabags in it outside in the sun, go tend to other things, as you wait on the sun to heat the water and brew the tea? Life speaks and moves and goes on its way, even in the waiting times.
Take the crows for instance. Monday morning as I pulled the bedroom curtains back I saw three crows land on the roof of a house. Watching them walk along the ridge-cap in a stiff legged, single file march I couldn’t help but smile. Going upstairs, at another window, I see them land in the backyard. It’s the strutting that captures my attention and I stifle a giggle.
With an unobstructed view from the sliding door, they show me their pattern of life. Walking in straight lines, then in eccentric circles all. over. the. yard! Looking down their beaks for whatever they can find. Rigid movements, head down, peck, peck, head up, move to the left, strut, strut, strut. Repeat right. Like a haphazardly choreographed dance. Then one comes up victorious, something in its beak. The other two start circling in an attempt to get closer. To late. The victorious one quickly struts off in a straight line, head high, seeming to say “find your own!” Then just like that, they take flight, up over the fence. Gone.
Sunday’s message from church, circles through my mind about the religious leaders back in the day. Not willing to bend low to hear the voice of the people, to feel the heart of the people. Head high, strut, strut, keep moving. Pass them by. Unclean.
The message moves on to the woman who lost a coin, sweeping and searching, holding her lamp low, shining it into the dark places. This is likened to God drawing near, stooping low, casting the light of His love over all the peoples of the earth. Searching to bring the lost one home. Searching intently in the cracks and crevices of every life.
It was after dark on Friday when I remembered to check the mail. I unlocked the box, dropped down the door …… and heard the ‘clink’. In the silence, I felt the darkness hide the key from my vision. Oh no, we’d been entrusted with this key, now I’d lost it. There in the rocks and the dirt. I turn on my cell phone light, shining it all over, lifting rocks, putting them back. Futility strikes. I can’t see it’s too dark, the key too small. I need help, more light. Going inside, I call to my man … I’ve lost the mail box key! He says that’s funny, I thought I would lose it last night! Getting two flashlights from the car. More light, more rocks moved, then there at the back my man sees it, wedged sideways. Relief comes as I gather up the scattered mail and lock the box. Grateful words on my breath.
Then came Sunday. Oh, the tug on our hearts as in our seats we edged closer together, not saying a word, but knowing and listening. Intently.
In the waiting, Life was speaking. Loudly.
Would there be flight under the intensity of His gaze? An urge to keep moving, up over the fence, gone?
Or would there be an upward glance directly into the gaze of His unconditional love? A response to the urging to draw closer to Him, for the sake of those lost in the darkness.
p.s. the key now has a blue ribbon tied to it.