“I could tell,” my sister said. “I heard it in your voice and knew something was wrong. What’s going on? Sorry I didn’t call you back last night…” I was still in bed the next morning. I didn’t know what to say. Or where to begin.
Sometimes silence is the only way. Where would I start? After you keep things in for a while they become fossilized. How much time did she have? It was so good to hear her voice.
“I know, I’m just like Mom always was,” she continued her one-way conversation. “I only had to say two words and she always knew something was wrong. So what’s wrong, Debbie?”
As I think back on our conversation that morning, I can hardly even remember what it was that kept me from jumping out of bed to have coffee that day. It’s my favorite time of day.
She understood everything without me having to tell her a lot of detail. Then she explained to me what I hadn’t even understood yet about myself.
I can say it like this. She turned the day around for me. All because she heard something in my voice and called me back.
And that was like a recent doctor’s appointment. Our time was up. He’d been very kind. I was being sent for blood work when he said, “I want you to go to the lab then come back and tell me what God’s been doing in your life.”
Where do these great extensions of grace come from?
What followed in both situations were so pivotal in terms of feeling heard. Being seen. Being understood.
I told my doctor that he was like Clarence the Angel and I was Jimmy Stewart. “Where are your wings?” I asked.
“I’m no Angel,” he said. “I don’t want you to worry. Let me worry for you.” At first I thought, well, now I am going to worry, but as I settled in to his suggestion, I understood the gift he had just offered. Isn’t that what God offers us? I was free. Angels can do that.
Our days roll by and who doesn’t need an angel to make you sit still now and then, to be honest for goodness sake, to stop wearing a stiff upper lip. Sisters and doctors can do that.
The only way to make it all well sometimes is to let it not be well if it isn’t.
My sister said she had a picture of a cat holding on by its claws. The cat was her. She realized it was time to let go. So she let go and Jesus caught her, she said. “Let go, Deb. He’s got you.”
I did let go after those conversations just as I had let go of Dad’s wedding ring I’d lost a week earlier.
The following morning, I was getting dressed and reached for my upside down lotion bottle that was too low in contents to work its way up through the pump so I’d removed it. Now it sat upside down on the counter so the cream on the bottom could easily be removed. There was still a lot of cream in the container.
Understand, I’m a girl who was raised to flatten the toothpaste tube and roll until every drip and drop is removed.
As I slipped my forefinger into the container, it hit something I figured must have broken off the pump, so I pulled it out and tossed it into the trash.
Then I thought, “Wait.”
I reached into the paper and tissues in the basket and retrieved the piece.
And there covered with cream, was my dad’s ring!
I can hear you saying, “I told you so!” How did you know?
“You know what the lesson is, don’t you?” Todd said.
“Don’t take the pump top off the lotion container and stick your finger in. You may lose your ring. How much are you saving? A dime…?”
And that my friends is the happily ever after ending to my every day ordinary forever and ever story.