Times of Refreshment

I think he's smiling!

It’s Friday, and I woke up early this morning.

I’ve enjoyed the quiet, watching the sun rise in a clear sky, hearing and watching the world in my back yard wake up. I saw the great horned owl come home to roost from his night’s hunting, ready for his day of rest. I saw the wasp that started building a nest on our back porch go from sleeping while hanging by a thread to the nest to resuming active building. I heard the sounds of other creatures big and small beginning to move, and the sound of traffic as people became busy.

Meth the goldfish, the name Eloise gave him because he’s lived so long (short for Methuselah), was excited that I was up, hoping for a few flakes of food. Missy Dog was still curled up in a ball when I went to let her out of her kennel. But she too was eager for the day after a few stretches.

I slowly sipped a cup of home-roasted Honduran coffee, not because I needed the caffeine, but because of the joy of its rich taste.

And I had a quiet conversation with God. We talked about Jim and Pam, and the slow process of recovery from a double lung transplant, about the joy of small steps, about the challenges of each moment. We talked about Earnest and Xenia, each caring for spouses who have suffered debilitating strokes. And we talked about many others, currently on my prayer list, asking his blessing and intervention for them.

But we also talked about how amazingly beautiful this world is that he’s given us to live in for a little while, and I spent some time wondering what Heaven must be like if this world is so gorgeous.

Most of my mornings are not this good. I wish they were. It’s a calm in a storm, a chance to catch my breath, a time of refreshing.

Much of the last week has been about caregiving. It had worn me out. I had lost a night’s sleep at the ER with daughter Sara as she suffered though another bout of pancreatitis. Then after getting her home, there was concern and being on call as she rode it out. I also spent long hours with Dad at doctors’ appointments and tests. Sara’s recovered and Dad’s test results were good. Another storm weathered. I’d never wish that I was not the go-to guy for them — I prize being able to be there for them. But it has its price.

My refreshing comes from quiet times like this morning. And from some focused time taking and processing and sharing photographs of beautiful things. And reflecting. And conversations with a God who loves me they way I am. And having a loving wife who puts up with me even when I’m weird.

I’m hoping that you’re having times of refreshment along the way too.

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