Anyone who has gone through serious trials in life knows about fog lifting from one's mind. When it finally DOES lift you wonder "what took me so long?"
This past week I've been digging deep and yesterday a few things started to come together. To begin with, I started noticing the world around me. More precisely, I was seeing the people in the world around me.
People I have seen
The Hovering Man
I was driving back to work at the end of my lunch hour yesterday and was stopped at the Geer and Monte Vista stoplight. As I waited for the light to change, I observed from about four cars back, a couple waiting for the light to change as well. He was tall, broadshoulders, athletic, bi-racial, bald, dressed in sweats and a tankshirt. She was in jeans carrying a small pack. She was tiny with long brown hair and less than half his size. She was leaning lightly into the lightpost as she pressed the walk button. He faced her hovering but not crowding as he light touched her shoulders. She was facing forward accepting his touch but not moving towards him. His focus was entirely on her. Her focus seemed to be looking outward - waiting for the light to change. He turned away facing forward. He turned back and touched again. He turned away again. She never moved until the light changed. If I had to judge them as a couple right at that moment with no other information to go on I would have to think that he was much more involved in her than she in him.
Forty years ago women tended to fall into two style catagories. We were either London Mod or Hippie Chick. London Mod was knee-high boots, miniskirts, long straight hair with bangs covering our eyebrows. Double lines of mascara in black and white carefully outlined our eyes. The stare that peered out from beneath was old, without wisdom, and a bit bored with life. Hippie Chick wore soft flowy skirts, tie-dyed shirts, sandles, little make-up, the hair was long and wild. Bangs? NOT. Shaved legs and underarms? NOT. Bright and happy smiles? YES, absolutely. Hippie Chicks seemed to hear their own inner song. And it was Hippie Chick who walked into my office this past week.
Yes, in the year 2006 A.D., 1966 A.D. is alive and well in Turlock, CA. One young girl who totally fit the style of 40 year old Hippie Chick walked in and drop-kicked me back into the 60s. She is a new music major, I think, so I will be seeing quite a lot of her. I look forward to learning more about her.
Thursday was my last black day for mom related stuff. And Thursday was the day I met Sherene. Wednesday I was angry at God and demanding that he do his job with mom. I didn't care if it was restoring her or taking her home. Either was preferable to the half-life she was living. Thursday morning He answered my prayer. I didn't realize it at the time but by the end of the day magic would happened.
I was having my usual a.m. coffee at House of Java. Sherene was already there when I arrived. I had never seen her before and believe me, all the early morning folks at least KNOW each other on sight. Somehow we got to talking (an easy thing at House of Java) and we ended up eating breakfast together. Surprise - we had ordered the same thing. That got a laugh out of both of us. Turns out that Sherene is devoted to a ministry of serving the poor and spend a lot of time ministering at gospel missions. She is Catholic and brings the Word directly to those most in need, materially that is. Our talking came around to mom, as it always seems to these days, and she asked if she could visit and pray over her. Of oourse it was OK and as we parted company I thanked God for the good start to my day.
Fate wasn't finished with our meeting however. I stopped in to see mom after work and Kris arrived a little later. Mom was sleeping and unwilling to wake up. As I wandered out into the hallway, who should come around the corner but Sherene. As we visited there in the hallway, Kris came out and all of a sudden the conversation stopped. Sherene was glowing. Kris was glowing. Hugs were being shared by the two of THEM. I went into shock. They KNEW each other??? Kris had met Sherene some time ago when the Epicenter Cafe was still open. Kris worked there and Sherene used to come in everyday for coffee and study. After the cafe closed, they lost touch.
God was truly at work. I felt a lightening within myself and I felt a circle closing around the four of us as we prayed. Sherene will be back and I look forward to seeing her again.
As I pulled out of the gas station this morning, I saw the funniest sight. I was turning one way and a bicycle was going the other. Picture this - a man is riding his bike. His bike has baskets on the front and back. This suggests to me that this might be his primary mode of transportation. Balanced on the handlebars sticking straight out over the front wheel was an endtable. The image struck me as so funny and there was my camera buried in my purse as he headed away from me. I wondered about him for a while and decided that he must have passed a yardsale and found the perfect endtable to include in his livingroom. Moving day from a driveway to a new home. It was an innovative solution to resolving the problem of furnishing one's home. Oh for better timing. What a picture it would have been.
For a longtime now, I've been asking God if He has a mission for me, some job He would like to see me accomplish. I'm not talking about a couple of months longtime, I'm talking about years longtime. Today the request came through loud and clear. At least three years ago, my friend Joe travelled to New Orleans for a conference. While he was there he took the opportunity to visit many of the beautiful places there. One place was St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest Catholic cathedral in America. This visit was about a year after the tidalwave of scandal swamped the Church. When he visited the giftshop there he spotted a bumperstick for sale that read I am thankful for the thousands of GOOD priests. He brought it home as a gift for me. Little did I know that I had received the seed of my mission.
Over the years, people have noticed and commented on my bumpersticker. They have all been kind and supportive and have wanted to know where they could find one. I was grateful for their excitement, positive spirits, and willingness to talk to me, a stranger. I have been disappointed that I could not send them to a direct source.
After a while I got the idea that I would very much miss this bumperstick when I one day traded the wagon in for another car. Then it occurred to me that it couldn't be THAT hard to make up a bunch of bumperstickers. If I had them on hand, I could give them to people whenever someone commented. As all good ideas go with me, this one sat on the backburner and simmered and basically went ignored. Once in a while I stirred the pot but that was it. Enter the bumpsticker lady.
About a year and a half ago I was on my way home from a dental appointment. At a corner stoplight (yes, another stoplight incident) a woman in a van next to me honked and signaled for me to roll down the window. She loved my bumperstick and where could she find one? Alas, I had to disappoint her. Well, today in the Big Lots/Michael's/OSH parking lot, she found me again. This time we pulled over, swapped names and cell phone numbers, and I told her of my old idea of making bumperstickers and giving them to anyone who asks about it. A mission was born and it's birth crywas finally heard. I have an acquaintance who has a printing business. I'm going to call her on Monday.