Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Sign and A Promise


I never mention it to anyone.  It has always been my own little secret.  But I have a silent plea that I beg up from the dirty floor of my doubting. It is a prayer or a wish born from need to know that all is well and that all will be well with my son living in glory.  It often crawls out of the sadness and the aching of missing him.  “Would you give me a sign, God?  Would you do something, anything, to show me that I can trust you?”  I stand on the bow of an ark, watching the bottom break in the sky, and I want a rainbow.  I want a promise to light the air with color.       

Sometimes I walk through weeks or even months in the silence that follows my prayer.  I see the sun slice through lanky pines on an afternoon walk and wonder, Could this be it?  Could this be God breaking through?  I witness my sons’ hearts slowly knitting together and healing.  I see the stitching in healthy questions and new feelings expressed, knowing that it could never have been my own hands that held the needles.  They have been far too shaky.  And I think, God, are you really binding up the wounded, as you promised?  This has to come from you, right?   Or I find myself howling in laughter with friends and family.  I catch myself loose in joy, freshly untethered to sadness.  I never thought I’d feel this again.  Is it your gift to me?  I am always searching for the rainbow. 

I am so prone to wonder.  My heart is swirled with all kinds of hues of unbelief.  So I often whitewash these gifts as mere coincidences or natural effects of time and growth, independent from a divine hand.

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We didn’t plant a summer garden this year.  We weren’t sure about our housing situation.  Too much was up in the air.  So we tilled the soil of our plot and haven’t touched it in months.  Weeds and grass pushed up through the dirt and now our garden plot looks mostly like a wild wasteland. 

But last week I noticed a bright, green stalk stretching high above the weeds and grass.  This week that stalk opened up into flower.  But not just any flower … a sunflower.  Webb called them sunshines.  He squealed with joy every time he spotted one. They will always be my reminder that a little boy is running wild and free, face forever pointed to the sun.    

Last year I planted sunflower seeds in pots around our back patio.  Some of the seeds from those sunflowers must have been carried by the wind and scattered into the soil of our garden.  This year, one of those seeds bloomed.  Just one seed. 

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I am always searching for the rainbow.  I never stop asking God to show me in secret, little ways that my son is safe in His arms and that the rest of us are in His care as well.  And much of the time, the silence that follows my plea is simply due to ears covered with hurry or busyness and eyes locked in to what is seen. 

But every now and then, the clouds roll back and promise breaks through the silence. A gift is dropped right in the middle of a storm, a gift so clearly given just to me, whispering that all is well.  Sitting on the edge of my garden where nothing was planted but a sunflower grew, I know that I have received the rainbow.  And I am standing on the bow of an ark as color lights up the sky.