Saturday, July 13, 2013

When You Feel Alone

I spent five hours in the research wing of the public library trying to find out obscure and ancient bits of information for the book I am working on. I read newspaper clippings from the early 1920s to 1940s, hoping to uncover what I wanted to learn. A very kind woman, Jane, brought me books, and microfiche, and folders brimming with more news articles. The pile in front of me grew, as did my headache...and my hunger.

"Jane," I said, "Can I leave this here and run out for a little lunch? I will be right back, but I have to eat. My head is swimming."
"Of course," sweet Jane the librarian said. She put a "do not disturb" sign on my materials, and I dashed out. I found the first place that would have easy and quick food, Fuel Pizza. I gobbled down the slice of pizza and hurried back to the library. Unfortunately, a piece of tomato was stuck in my teeth, which I didn't notice till I got home. I hate it when that happens.

In the five hours of my research, I found only one interesting fact that would be useful to me. I wearily gathered my materials, and thanked Jane. Research is tedious, I decided. I had enjoyed parts of it, reading about a long ago time that seemed in many ways much simpler, kinder than my own. But it is not easy, slogging through hundreds of articles hoping to find one sentence that might relate to the subject of interest.

Jane brought me many folders of news clippings that had key words related to my search, but all were tangential. None were EXACTLY about my subject matter.
"Don't you have a folder that is labeled with exactly what I want to find out?" I asked finally.
"No," she said, "When you are doing original research, you will never find a folder like that. You will be the one developing that folder."

I will? Suddenly I felt very important, valuable....even needed!

"Now you see that no one else has ever bothered or cared to study what you are researching," she explained.

OK, Jane, you could have just stopped with the part about original research...

With my newly deflated ego, I headed home. I wondered why I was so excited about something that apparently no one else cared one whit about. And tomato stuck in my teeth while smiling at the librarian! What a day! There was good news, however. A bill that made abortion clinics more accountable, allowed opting out of taxpayer abortion funding in Obamacare, as well as banning sex-selective abortions had passed the NC House. I was surprised to see how hard a battle this was, how alone the people feel who long to end this horrible scourge against innocent life. It is one of the issues that since I became a Christian seems to me to be a no-brainer. I couldn't believe how many Facebook posts by friends said they were ashamed of NC! I had never been prouder!

My family was gone when I returned - off to movies and golf. I settled down to a solitary dinner and read one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, 1 Kings 19. Elijah is despairing, being pursued by the evil Jezebel, and feeling utterly alone, he cries out to God. God sends Elijah a special friend and future prophet, Elisha. He reminds Elijah that while he may feel all alone, he is not. God has reserved a remnant who care about just what Elijah cares about. He is not alone.

After reading a few more angry Facebook posts by people calling NC pro-lifers "troglodytes", I called the librarian Jane.
"Just in case you happen to chance upon something that relates to my research, I thought I ought to leave you my name and number," I said.
"My brother is very interested in what you are looking at," said Jane, "I am glad you called and gave me your number. I had planned to tell him about your work. He may know something that will help you. He loves this area of research!"
I smiled, no more tomato pieces stuck in my teeth marring the expression of joy.


And he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” Then the Lord said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (I Kings 19:14-18 NKJV)

-save a dog-

1 comment:

  1. "I couldn't believe how many Facebook posts by friends said they were ashamed of NC! I had never been prouder!" I feel the same way. Some of these statuses are ridiculous. What the heck, people?