Thursday, June 22, 2017

If the salt has lost its savor it is good for nothing.

 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
    I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    for I rejoice in the Lord.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord!  Psalm 104: 33-35

Our spirit should be quick to reach out toward God, not only when it is engaged in meditation; at other times also, when it is carrying out its duties, caring for the needy, performing works of charity, or giving generously in the service of others. Our spirit should long for God and call Him to mind, so that these works may be seasoned with the salt of God’s love, and so make a palatable offering to the Lord of the universe. -John Chrysostom

Lord, we know that You will come again in glory to raise the living and the dead. Resurrect us now from the death of comfort, complacency, sloth, and shallowness that we might witness to Your love in life and death. Amen

I stood in the dusty alley and watched the little Rabbit roll out of sight. The little Rabbit holding 39 Vikingish post-apocalyptic outfits: armor, swords, boots, masks, helmets, capes, elastic-waisted britches, sequined and beaded gowns, all sorts of craziness crafted from thrift store bargains and the imagination of Miss Nicole.

I turned, and then scraped up and shoveled up and folded fairly tidily the heaps of leftovers and first unloaded the fifth and last bin of Nicole’s worldly possessions and the three Calvary Missionary Press tables at 220 South Country Club, then dropped off big boxes and a big black garbage bag at Arizona Baptist Family Services on my way to the family homestead on the eastside, where the Coverdales and countless guests have been based for nearly forty-five years. I wandered through the bare-walled and neatly vacuumed shell. Voices–lots of laughter, quiet rustling pages, and of course crackling fireplace sparks echoed back and forth. Smiling refugee men loaded up the floral couches, the cardboard boxes of mismatched glasses and cups and lots of framed pictures of Jesus into a great big truck and we filled it all the way up and they promised to come back for the pieces left sitting in the curving driveway, including mom’s desk. I remember how all we kids squeezed up close to the big picture window and watched with excitement when an equally big truck rolled into view, parked in the driveway and unloaded the gleaming gold gilt edged, leather inset desk into our waiting living room so many years ago.

I hugged my mama goodbye. As I was driving away, I passed a childhood neighbor friend walking rather wearily down the street. Obviously wearily. Tucson is breaking all-time temperatures this week, and I am drinking down seven and eight liters of chilled water and still thirsty. I pulled over, “Tony Redhouse?” His whole face lit up. “Those were the days, weren’t they? The band, the carpooling, neighbor stuff! And now no band, no job, nothing. What’s new with you?

What is new with me, the woman who is scrapping every last bit of the past into neatly labeled storage bins?

The beat goes on. Pack up a truckload of stuff and haul it over to the storage shed… stacking it all the way up to top of the tin roof after first finding a replacement seat for the bicycle that didn’t do so well in the rain. Wipe off the backyard furniture, scraping off some of the spilled paint with my fingernail, and take them and the fancy spices and sauces and over to a friend’s. No one really wants the adorable tiny cactus gardens though. Sift through the papers and pictures and tax returns and slide them into my school bag with a box of colored pencils and the Romeo and Juliet video. Make an appointment to get the Tacoma’s 3,000 mile tune-up. Wen Xie is moving in a week and maybe she will take the couch and two chairs.

I was talking to a swim buddy as we kicked back and forth in the pool today. She is packing up too, after her husband passed away after twenty years of debilitating illness. Twenty years of he couldn’t even leave the house debilitating. And all we have ever done is chit-chat about back spasms, her killer breaststroke and that she is a real estate agent. Who knew?

Every day I pass the same long white-bearded guy with a small sign on the corner of Sixth and Speedway. Every day.

Every evening I pass the same three lumps of blankets spread out on the sidewalk downtown right under the gaze of Pancho Villa. Lumps of blankets with real live people under them. Twice a week a guy passes out breakfast and reads the Bible in a loud voice.

Dear LORD, as I rock through these endless to-do lists, check check, may my spirit look to You, that these works may be seasoned with the salt of God’s love, and so make a palatable offering to the Lord of the universe.

Because in the long run, and actually, as I am very very very very aware, in the short run too, none of this really matters except Your weary children.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul.
And all that is within me.

Bless His holy name.