By Lisa Huddleston
“Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down …” (Isaiah 64:1).
Today is Thursday which for me means “Writing Day.” Usually by this time of the week, something has piqued my interest: a current event or a quirky phrase or even the changing seasons. Something. But this morning, this Thursday, I awoke with an empty head (which is not to be confused with a clear conscience or a blank slate.) Nada! So I began to fish around a little. There was still time, I calmly reasoned. Then, as I usually do in matters of deep spiritual need, I panicked. What if I never had another good idea again? What if I had written my very last word? What if God had decided to stop funneling his truth through my warped and weird filter? I even dared to think the words, writer’s block, as my brain began to grow ever more frantic and helpless. Surely something needed to be said, but still nothing raised its head. And I began to pray for a “fire in my bones” to replace the “dry bones” that were clunking together in meatless music like a weird voodoo wind chime, “No-thing, no-thing, no-thing.” No! Nothing to write? Nothing to say? My terrified writer’s heart screamed like Janet Leigh in “Psycho!”
To make matters worse and add to the increasing pall of the day, there was a funeral to attend late in the morning. Might as well, I thought. What better place for a writer without words than a funeral? I dressed with less than enthusiastic zeal. Black on black for Black Thursday. Just perfect.
As I drove to the white antebellum funeral home off the square, I fussed at myself and then I fussed at God. Woe is me, I thought, looking for a parking spot and trudging into the crowded parlor to find a seat at the back of the room. Glumly, I crawled across the two white-haired ladies in the aisle seats and plopped myself down next to an old friend to sit and stew.
The usual crowd was there, and I exchanged appropriately sympathetic smiles with those I knew and made small talk with my friend. There was something comforting about the familiarity of the setting, and despite myself, my tousled soul began to still. The sweetness of the family, the tenderness of the aging friends, the consecutive preachers who shared their respect for the departed saint, and the personal, trembling words of the minister grandson. I couldn’t help it. I just softened right up. By the time the grandson shared the memory of his grandmother sitting on her porch to keep her eyes on her grown son as he mowed her lawn once a week, I couldn’t keep it in any longer, and the tears began to flow. Like the sun bursting through a dark gray cloud with rays of gold, heaven came down and glory filled my soul!
So although I still have no deep message to share on this Thursday, I do have the glimpse of glory that lingers even as I struggle to express the sight. God is here. He’s in the good days, and he’s in the bad. Like Miss Mary Ruth on her porch, God delights in the sight of his children. And that warm image fills my soul with joy. Okay, I haven’t gone all soft. It’s still a bittersweet kind of joy. I can’t admit to complete surrender, but I do have a glimpse. And for today, that is enough.