I have a new grandfather, and he’s just what one should be. I rode in his truck the other day and he, being a non-stop and lighthearted talker, had a special air of sobriety about him, as he took the opportunity of our aloneness to give me his advice for living. He said, when I am old, I will need something to dream about. He said people say pretty don’t mean much, but it does. He was speaking of firewood, but I guess it’s true everywhere. He said my life would go by faster than I could imagine, and he said he reckoned the most important thing he had learned was that, before you do something, you need to think about it.
I’ve been having the feeling like I need to do some thinking. I sit down to go about it, usually in the early morning, and I get up feeling like I never started. I feel, more than ever before, in need of blessing. I feel as if, very soon, something will be required of me, and I won’t have it. Like a debt will be called in that I cannot pay. I looked through the Bible for something new that I might be missing, and could not find it, so I took down an old journal this morning and read:
I feel so far from you because there is this big thing before me. It is in my way and I cannot see you.
I am nothing but a dry river bed for him to fill— but he will, he will.
She said it was when I most noticed the dirt that he was nearest to me, and so maybe I could not see him because he was so close.
“Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.”
Every few weeks there is a little loss I have to let go because it is already gone. God help me move forward.
I am greatly in need of solid joys and lasting treasures.
You will not pull the rug from me; there is no sword over my head. You have never treated me like that.
Lewis said it was our duty, as Christians, to be as happy as we can, and you know, it’s not a hard thing to do. It’s easy once you get started.
I’ve been talking to him since I was a little girl, and the things I asked him for, imperfectly, he has given me now, even while I am prayerless and distracted.
I don’t know what was going on when I wrote these things. I am both the same person and different. I have lived through many thoughts, but I have not lived past them.They come again. There are more to come, but it is a comfort to pass by the old ones and remember that life was hard but good, as it always is.
There were a couple friends dear to me, and one in particular, who found it a stumbling block that I should marry. I understand this, because I felt the same way when my sister married. You feel like they have gone where you cannot follow, and on purpose too. I know it hurts, but I wish that friend could see how I sit in bed in the early morning and search for meaning, just like I used to do, and how I long for God and feel afraid sometimes, just like I used to, and how I still incline my ear and long to hear from my friends who I love, just like I always will. It is true that there are new things for me now and I am distracted in a pleasant way, but all the old, unpleasant things are just as true as they ever were, and sometimes more so.
My husband asked me the other day what I missed most about being a child. I couldn’t think of anything at first, but the question stayed with me until I could remember. I miss not having to get dressed after a bath. We would get wrapped in towels and laid on the couch and could just sit there bundled up as long as we liked. I miss not having to walk. I was held a lot, even as a kid, as the youngest of them all. But mostly I miss my sister. I miss the closeness we had when we were all the world to each other. That’s just not the case anymore, nor should it be. I see the back of her head in church, and realize we have not talked in days. I used to wait for her to call, but now she waits for me, but then she has to go quickly and so do I. When we have time, we often don’t know what to say, there is so much and all of it beside the point compared to all the important things we apparently had going on as children.
It is a new thing to me, and an important one, to be able to look back and really love what was, without loving less what is. God does not need to take from one bowl to fill the next. I do not love my friend less because I have a husband. I do not love my sister less because we have grown up. I do not love my single years less because I have a baby. Too much love and gratitude is never the problem, but only a wanting of it.
I’ve been told not to be precious with my words, but really, I don’t need to be precious with anything that is good. There is always more where it came from. And when more love and more faith, more than ever before, is called for, as it will be, it will be there.
Still I have not thought the thing I need to think, but maybe I’m coming close.