24 March 2009


Well today was a very interesting and very important day...not at all what I had imagined for my third day of pilgrimage, but pivotal and undeniably providential.

First – the whole house thing is taken care of. Until I could say that, I don’t think I realized how much that’s been weighing on me. I’ve been able to keep a good game face on or the last several months and I truly had faith that everything would work out...but now faith has turned into physical, legal reality and I’m deeply relieved. This house has come to mean so much more to me than I expected when we bought it. Nine years ago, Re and I moved into this 100 year old project house when the previous owner was foreclosed upon...hmmm, I hadn’t thought about that until just now...anyway – we really thought we would be in it for three to five years, fix the thing up and move on. That seemed like a pretty reasonable plan given my upwardly mobile career with Aquent. It was an investment property, not a home. But now we’ve been here for nine years in April and I absolutely LOVE this house. It has totally become home despite its warts and dreadful proximity to the highway. We’ve hosted so many friends here which is at the core of what we both sensed when we bought it – it was a gift from God, but it was explicit that we were supposed to share it. Two families and three individuals have lived here with us over the years for extended periods (and we’re about to have another long term guest) plus an unknown amount of more temporary guests. And at every turn, we’ve been more than happy to do it. We’ve never felt imposed upon or jealous of our space (OK, hat’s not 100% true, but mostly) - that darn guest room is almost as used as our bedroom!

The dreadful thought of losing this place was probably the most heart-sickening thing of 2008, even more than thinking I’d lose the business. Those stupid unfinished cabinets are MY unfinished cabinets! But today – that threat went away when CRB told me the funds were available right away. And while I recognize the tradition of not speaking too soon...crappy economy and uncertain future in mind, I feel confident that the threat is gone for good.

[Insert deep sigh of relief here]

But where I basically knew this day was coming, today also held a totally unexpected surprise...

The other overwhelming misery of 2008 was the loss of a very dear and precious friend. (see Baldur the Beautiful is Dead from early last year) It’s not like he died, but honestly...it felt like that. Our parting had so very much pain for me. It was a long drawn out thing that seemed like it just kept hitting me over and over. I haven’t had grief like that, maybe ever. Even when Odin was in the hospital, that was intense and awful for a couple weeks but there was a happy ending. This was slow and lingering and every week seemed to bring a new and deeper layer of hurt.  And there was no happy ending, if indeed there was any kind of ending. The whole thing kind of boiled away until everybody involved was exhausted and bruised beyond recognition. (By the way, I’m well aware that I was in no way the only person hurt nor the most hurt...but like this is my blog...)

This man was one of my best friends and in al of that I didn’t know if I would ever see him again, much less if we would ever speak. I remember that point about six months ago where the grief of a traumatic event finally catches up and overcomes your ‘everything is fine’ face and I was screaming and balling in front of all the monkeys as I had to give all of that to God...poor monkeys.

So yesterday this guys calls me as my pilgrimage has been put on hold due to a bum alternator. (OK – he texted me...come to think of it, I’m not sure that he ever actually uses his phone for talking). I hadn’t heard a peep out of him in about 14 months and he calls/texts yesterday. ‘Hmmm’ I think, ‘could this be the Lord?’ and I think, “well I don’t know what’s on this guy’s mind. Could be good...could be bad.” but in the spirit of taking the adventure God was giving I managed to meet with him this afternoon.

Without getting into all the gory details – it was good.
We were able to make peace, and I think it’s a genuine peace not just a paper job.

[Insert deep sigh of relief here]

There’s a lot more to say about that, but at the moment it seems premature – like talking out of school or something, so you’ll just have to settle for the notion that the meeting went well.

So today the two deepest hurts of the last year, which was full of hurts, were set like broken bones. And they both have this feel to them like I don’t yet comprehend how important today will seem in a year or five years. Like things happened today that will have major implications in the future. But time will have to tell because for me...it’s just a dose of good medicine that I really needed.

Was this part of the pilgrimage that God called me on? Was this part of his plan all along? I don’t know.
But I am confident that both events were directly created by Him and for his purposes and glory. So either way I’m a happy camper (or non-camper since I’m home and not in the back of my Jeep...)

Still – the rest of this week was set aside for His adventure and I plan to be faithful to that. A few things come to mind in how I might still wing a trip down there and I may still decide to do something of a long shot, but I first want to wait and see what happens next. Rather than force my agenda or my destination, I’m happy to play this by ear and hang on for the ride.

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