Uncertain About What’s Next
Friday, October 30, 2020
Four days of rain where we live. It affects us.
No doubt, the earth needs the water, and we need the stay-at-home time. Some people find joy and peace of mind during the rainy days. There's even a name for this—they're called pluvophiles. But it's beginning to make us feel bedraggled like the poplar, no matter how upbeat and positive we try to be.
Even the dogs are draggy during the hours of cloudy light. I wonder if they’re sick. They sleep until 5 p.m., but then they come alive and whine, beg to go visit the neighbor dogs, play “tug-of-war”, go in and out the door. At night, they are called out by owls. Then there’s the blue moon, growing fuller and flooding our valley. I’m convinced full moons cause insomnia for some of us.
After days of soft rain, the leaves weigh down. Many have turned brown and fallen. We felt their heaviness. Clocks will fall back early Sunday morning. More changes to adjust to. The yard’s covered with leaves, the flag hangs high but limp as if it’s weeping, and the news repeats itself about the weather and the election.
Seems like no news is good news. Or is it that no news is true news? You see, the rain (seven inches of it!) is affecting me.
Has it always been this hard to tell fact from fiction? Maybe, maybe so.
Eventually, I tire of the election rhetoric like I wearied of the rain. My eyes glaze over.
Remember that feeling in a warm classroom where the teacher’s voice trails off, and you are no longer with her? Your ears are full of wax and words, and your brain can't take one more word.
That’s me at times when I listen to news.
Here we are in 2020. It’s not like any other year. Instead, it’s the year that the Covid pandemic hit world-wide. Now, in my part of the world, the numbers are growing. Someone told me just this morning that we are now considered one of the hot spots for Covid.
Around the country, many churches and businesses are closed, wildfires are eating the landscape and homes (prayers for rain), hurricanes roll in and up the southern states, people shift back and forth—uncertain about what’s next. And yet, days keep dropping out of the darkness. What are we to make of it?
The flag. It’s in its place on a pole, and today the sun stepped out and showed himself.
Our candidates. Their words sound familiar, like a teacher trying to teach children adverbs. She says the same thing over and over, using different examples.
We voted early—just our way of articulating who we think we want to lead the country.
But have I ever voted for a bad candidate? Oh yes! I didn’t have all the facts, for sure. Of course, I’ll never have all the facts. I can rationalize it, but I remember being stuck with the taste of having been duped.
So it’s always with a prayer that I vote.
Who knows what any candidate will actually do? We see some of their behaviors, know some of their history, hear some of their words, and we go by that. However, I’m highly aware I don’t really have their full stories.
Does that mean it’s just my best guess?
So that’s what I must live with.
First of all, I believe whatever pieces we get right are actually bits and scraps. And I need God to guide me to figure out the bits and scraps.
When things go wrong on a personal level or a world-wide level, I grieve it. It’s sad, like when I see birds of prey agitating, instigating.
Next, I come back to standing up for forgiveness, family, the flag, the country I’ve loved.
Of course, that takes me to Jesus, Bible, my values, my personal testimony.
God is ultimately in control. Even when things look bad, God can use awful circumstances. You probably have seen that work in your life. I’ve even seen joy come from suffering or dark times.
Like a little child, I am happy to turn to God when faced with elections, pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes, riots, a sick loved one, insomnia, November. I need God’s big help to work my way through any of it.
My hope is that America has not lost her way.
What would it mean if she has? I comfort myself with this: I’d remain a child of God with an instruction book. (People can survive on the New Testament, the hope found there.)
Looking through the window, I see dogs playing in sunlight.
May you find rest and joy,
The American flag, photographed by Pat Durmon, October 2020.