Through A Glass, Darkly

This morning Caleb said the prayer.  It was longer than usual. 

Over the weekend our prayer list grew.

And he was reminding heaven about each of our loved ones by name, one by one.

On Sunday we went to church fasting and praying with the rest of our congregation.  I walked into church behind a good friend and thought about the comfort of worshipping together as I watched her Sunday heels enter the building.  I thought about what it means to pray together when tragedy strikes.  Of asking for help when we feel helpless.  And the comfort of belonging.

This weekend we received the news that one friend had died unexpectedly, and another two had come very, very close. 

And suddenly, in a flash of awareness, I remembered that one breath separates this life and the next.  That ordinary life is a luxury.  That asking your husband to take the garbage out is a gift.  That being irritated that he's in a meeting and late for dinner is a grace.  That most of the time, I am living blind to the real situation:  that anything and everything can change in a moment.

I thought about that all day.  I went to church and prayed with my family.  And in between my messages for comfort and healing for our friends, I asked heaven to also help me remember that regular, ordinary life with its dishes and homework and socks left by the side of the bed are evidence of the kindness of heaven.  That being able to wake up next to David and then blearily make pancakes for six is the tenderest mercy of all.

I thought about that all day.

And then we went to bed and had a fight.

(Technically, it was really just me fighting because David never participates, despite all my goading.  He'd rather kiss than fight.  And sometimes that, in and of itself, makes me want to fight.  I don't need a good reason, see?)

He rubbed my foot while I railed.

He rubbed by back while I got it all out.

And then I fell asleep and after a while, David's snoring woke me.  I pushed his heavy arm from around my waist and I thought about the luxuries of my life.  Of fighting over nothing.  Of an arm thrown over me in the dark.  Of someone lying next to me, waking me with their snoring.  Of how dark the glass I am peering through must be.  And how between that and the blindness of my mind, I must be nearly always lost.

And for a long time after that, I thanked heaven for my blessings. 

Especially the ones I can't see.