{This Sacred Everyday} Vol. 1

Today we begin a new series around here. {This Sacred Everyday} is a collection of posts about encountering God in the plain places, in the monotonous, in the daily. I’m writing our first installment, but I’m thrilled that the rest of the series will be written by other writers and bloggers I admire. Look for it every Wednesday this summer.


 

Chris is leaving the house in the dark at 5:30 am. I’m up in my drowsy state rummaging the bathroom for the hydrocortisone cream he needs. I snag it and he throws it in his bag and kisses me. Four days till he returns. Our front door is heavy and swollen in this already-summer. It’s hmmmph is loud enough to wake the boys and the headlights of the car shine into August’s bedroom window. I’ve just climbed back into bed when I hear, “Mama? MaaaaMaaaa!”

“Yeah, buddy?” I’m at his door.

“Was that Daddy?”

“Yes, remember he’s going on the airplane this morning…”

“Nooooo! But we were gonna take him to the airpooooort!” he cries. “I wanted to go to the airpoooooort!”

Of course, that was never the plan. But, as usual, August has his own idea. He’s not yet inconsolable but it could go downhill fast. All I have to offer is Chris’ empty spot in my bed. So we snuggle and he whispers questions and I shhhhhh him and, thirty minutes later, Brooksie is crying from his room. I breathe deep: So this is going to be my day, I think. Six am and the world is awake.

On the way to August’s school at nine both boys fall asleep. And I down coffee so I can teach the preschool’s gymnastics class. They’re learning tripod headstands today and we pretend to be butterflies and spiders…all the usual.

In the afternoon, my cat is in so much pain he can’t even purr and I’m on the phone with the vet, trying to determine if I bring the cat in now or wait till the morning. I sit beside him stroking head to tail over and over thinking of how Chris and I would talk about our cat eight years ago. Our kids will grow up with him, we’d say astounded. Then, we sometimes uttered that there might one day be children belonging to us, coming from us. That idea felt too deep and holy to speak aloud too often but we could stroke that cat and imagine kids chasing and sticky-hand-petting him and rubbing their snotty noses into his fur.

And here we are, me holding tight to my sick cat, letting August watch another show, squirting another round of pain medication into this little kitty mouth.

At dinner, my friend Morgan comes over. Six to eight pm: these are the witching hours, the part of day where I just want to give up. When I’m home without Chris I crawl through dinner and baths and bedtime, exhausted and used up. Having a friend beside me to feed and entertain the boys is magic. I get them to bed and Morgan joins me at the dishes. We talk about her life: how God is healing the part of her that has grieved and borne so much pain these last few months. We sit at the table and talk about forgiveness and motives and asking God to uncover bitterness one layer at a time. She’s tired and I send her out into the night.

When I open the door I’m met with the perfect night air. Eighty degrees, air covered in the sweet hymns of the crickets. I walk the few houses to the mailbox pausing to upward gaze. I know Venus is supposed to be close right now. If I were my high school self, Dad would have called me outside by now, stood beside me in the driveway, pointing out the patterns of our solar system, what occurred to bring Venus to this very place in our night sky. He would point to it and I’d say, “Oh, yeah, I see it.”

Tonight, there’s a bright star and I pretend I’ve found it. “Oh, there you are, Venus,” I say aloud in the dark, in the middle of a sidewalk. I think about our planet spinning precariously at an angle in the deep black of a universe so profound that imagining its outer limits can do nothing but lead me back to God. We are so fragile, I half think, half pray.

At the corner, I catch the whiff of a flowering bush, a sweet musky perfume and I know it instantly from the corner of Filbert and Grant in San Francisco, where our apartment building sat, where we parked on lucky days and August’s little two-year-old body walked with me, holding hands to our apartment door. How many times did we stop to smell that very same scent, August’s pudgy fingers plucking tiny white flowers for me? How hard that season was and how sweet: the way August and I lived our days together in that city, walking and walking, saying hello to the shopkeepers and park dwellers. I stand before that bush and breathe through my nose and close my eyes.

I check our mailbox and walk back listening. It sounds like summer. Soon the nights will be unbearable, 95 and muggy. But, right now, the air is soft and welcoming. The insects do their jobs and call to one another. The trees stand quiet and wait.

In repentance and rest is your salvation, my spirit whispers the words from Isaiah as I walk the three houses to my driveway.

In quietness and trust is your strength.

How is it that quiet and trust go so easily together? I wonder. I enter my house, check on my cat. He’s not well but he’s purring again. I put the kettle on the stove and wait for the whistle and listen to the hot water pouring into itself, hitting the barrier of my mug.

I take my tea outside, spray myself in bug repellent. I didn’t pray much today. There was no moment when I opened my Bible and gained some deep insight. I didn’t work through a list of prayer requests.

But, here, tonight, I’m alone on the deck and I whisper because I know it’s holy. And the train roars by half a mile away and a breeze moves in. And all around me in the dark, I sense the goodness of God, the quietness, the trust and strength.

I light a candle, because, sometimes, God’s nearness should be marked.

  • http://everydayawe.com Stephanie Spencer

    Love that this is going to be a series, Micha! This is what my blog is all about- finding God in simple, everyday, ordinary moments. It’s fabulous that you found Him in the quiet night at the end of a long day. And that you wrote about it. I think it can help others realize how we can see God moving and working all around us, if we only take the moment to stop and notice.

  • http://katieleigh.wordpress.com Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams

    I love this post so much, and how wonderful that it’s a series. What a gift. Thanks, Micha.

  • Lyndsey

    Pure poetry.

  • Lauren O’C

    this post deeply resonated with me: it’s gentle rhythm taking us through the day, guiding us to that sweet truth: God’s nearness should be marked. so lovely! I’m looking forward to this series!!!

  • http://thealreadynotyet.com Matthew van Maastricht

    So wonderful to see this series, and this post. I think that it is no coincidence that Elijah encountered God not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire, but in the gentle whisper.

  • Pingback: {This Sacred Everyday} The Spiritual Gift of Inefficiency Or Why I Slave Away in My Garden


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