Thursday, June 28, 2012

Listening Carefully

When I went to go read from the draft of my book about my WW2 friend, his door was closed. I could see through the little window that opened onto the Senior Home hallway that his light was on and he was sitting in his recliner. I knocked, but I doubted his aged ears could hear, so I squeaked open the door a crack.
"Comer?" I called. He had been expecting me. I had promised to be there to read some more chapters of the book I have written about him. He was growing weaker by the moment, and I knew I might have little time to finish reading it to him.

Comer turned his head and looked dispiritedly at me.
"Comer, how are you?"
"Not good," he said breathlessly.
"Do you need a nurse?" I asked, frightened.
"No," he said, "I am fine. Just so weak."
"Do you want to rest? I can come back another time..."
"No," he said, "I'd like you to read to me."
"Well great then! I will just take over from where we left off yesterday."
He smiled wanly, and then his face assumed the same serious concentration I had seen the day before as I told him his story.

This chapter was particularly poignant. It was about a miracle he had witnessed in the war, one of many. He had not called them miracles at the time, but they were pretty spectacular in my mind. While I was reading, his daughter came in. She and her husband run their own business and life is very busy for her. I knew she had been dropping by every day to see Comer, and I knew there was nothing that made him happier.
"Keep reading," she said, "I need to unpack some things into Daddy's fridge."
I read, a little self consciously, since this was one of the chapters where I make a conclusion and discuss God. I actually was recounting a discussion Comer and I had had during the war interviews, where he had asked me why Jesus had to come. I knew the daughter was listening, and hoped she didn't think I was some wacko prowling for a deathbed conversion. Comer was a believer, and this discussion that I was now rereading to him had taken place months ago.

Just maybe, I thought, God intended the worried daughter to hear these words too....And there was no way she could miss them. I was almost shouting as I read, as that was the only way Comer could hear me.

When I finished the chapter, with my conclusion about Jesus, Comer smiled at me.
"Maybe we should break here," he said, "Angie hasn't much time, and I'd like to visit with her."
"Absolutely!" I said, "I can come back tomorrow if you like. We just have two more chapters to go. Would you like that?"
"I surely would," he said.

I left, and now with an open afternoon I had cleared for Comer, took my kayak and headed to the little quiet lake I love. I was the only one there, as I unloaded my kayak and glided onto the peaceful water. I was feeling melancholy, and this lovely quiet lake was just what my soul needed. It's funny...I felt afterwards that I had prayed the whole hour I was on the lake, but I don't recall really any intentional prayer. The lake was my prayer. The beauty of God's world touching my aching heart was my prayer. The still waters, singing birds, and curious turtles popping their heads up around my boat were my prayer. Together, without even knowing it, we were bathed in the mercy and glory of God. If one listened carefully enough, all our stories were being whispered in the wind, moaning to Heaven like a prayer.

Ezekiel 40:2-4 (NIV)
In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city. [3] He took me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. [4] The man said to me, “Son of man, look carefully and listen closely and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here.

-save a dog-

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful are the feet of those who come in the name of the Lord. Apparently, this explains your shoe fetish.