It's been an interesting few days, I'll say that. I'm house-sitting for the Lake Samish branch of the "family" while they are away. And since P and I moved away from the Lake House, life is... rather louder. I am currently living with two girls, soon to be three, and they're ALL roughly 10 years younger than I am. It makes for a slightly louder house than I'm used to. I'm closer to the "5" (freeway) too, so it's a constant background rumble. Not as loud as P's in Seattle, but still. It's noticeable. Or, it was. When I first moved to the new apt, I couldn't sleep because of the noise. Out here at the Lake, the "noise" came from the owls and the other critters... and very occasionally the obnoxious neighbors (youth, what is happening!!!) throwing parties. So now that I'm BACK here, now it's the LACK of noise that's been keeping me awake. Plus the memories of this house, and my best-best friend, and his niece when I was the "nanny". Ah boy, those were the days!
It's very strange to be in a house where all of your memories are with someone you love dearly, or their family, or little ones, or the wonderful dog. Now, the house is silent. And I'm beginning to understand a slight bit of what I had before when I lived alone for so many years. I never felt the silence as much as I do now, and I wonder if this is what widowhood feels like. It never seemed to bother me so much before, just in the odd moments when the silence seemed to be too much and I would seek communion with others just for the simple joy of hearing a voice.
This isn't the same feeling as that desperate call from Mt. Baker, crying out for you to come visit her and smell the scents of the land and just "get away" and "be silent" for awhile. There is something almost desolate, and despairing, of an empty house where once there was laughter and joy and quiet companionship. I wonder if that is why I feel such affinity for old farm houses? I see them, ramshackle and wearing down at the seams, and I want to go play and fix them. Fill them to bursting with children and laughter and arguments and love.
I think this is all brought on by the passing of the dear old dog, late last evening. It's an interesting experience for me to have an animal pass, that wasn't killed for food, or buried on the land where we can go visit. And, of course, he wasn't mine. Mine in a sense of borrowed, as I visited often, and he was a regular fixture at our place, visiting and craftily seeking carbohydrate-rich treats. But not, "mine" mine. I can feel their pain, and I grieve with them, but it's not the same richness, or texture, as when it's "mine" mine.
Which brings me to my next subject. Alastair Begg. I have been slowly getting caught back up on the past week's sermons. Right now, he's going over 1 Peter 5. Amazing stuff. I'm finding myself actually opening the Big Book to the right passage and reading ahead of time, then listening in, and beginning to understand. Or at least, develop a deeper understanding of the Word. (Reminds me, P and I went to Cafe Adagio on his trip-before-last and there is a copy of Matthew Henry's there. We explored Genesis a bit, which is where in the Big Book we're currently at, together.)
Anyways. This particular sermon was very very very moving to me, so much so that I wrote down feverishly and re-listened, and re-listened, and re-listened some more just to make sure I got it all down in black and white!
Here's what caught me so firmly:
"Christian faith does not remove us from the painful experiences of life in a fallen world. It is faulty thinking . . . which finds those who name the name of Jesus Christ, scurrying around, either denying the fact of suffering (thereby making a liar of themselves) or seeking to run away from suffering, assuming that down that street where there is none of this experience (suffering) there will be progress and blessing in our lives. We must be honest with ourselves. (I am paraphrasing here:) We have the gift of Jesus Christ, a man without sin, but NOT without sorrows. Isaiah 53, which says, He is despised and rejected of men; A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: And we hit as it were our faces from him; He was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, And carried our sorrows.".
"Loved ones, if you've been going through your days, and I've been going through my days, deciding on the basis of my own faulty logic, that somehow suffering is never in the purposes of God and that when it comes I should either deny it or run from it, then we are missing the point completely. In actuality, more spiritual progress is made through our tears, than our laughter. Think it out."
Today has just been an interesting day, and lots of changes coming all at once, and I'm learning to stop listening to the devil and his sly words, casting doubt and attempting to drive a wedge between my Savior and myself.
And if I'm all over the place on this post, I will either attempt to correct it at another time when I'm not punch-drunk from being up too late, or I'll just leave be. Most likely, just leave be.
Praise God today!
And All Your Days!