January 24, 2012 – "An Arm Outstreched"

It was a gosh-awful start to the day… sitting in my office hearing the sound of water dripping from the ceiling on the the floor in the bathroom/ laundry room that is next to my office. Somewhere in the unseen spaces of the bathroom upstairs… water was leaking. And it was not going to be one of those “easy fixes.” That became evident.

Another first… it’s one thing to barely squeak by under “normal” circumstances. But with no income from the ministry, and the familiar looming of depletion of bank accounts, something like this can seem like a stab in the heart. Maybe it was because of what I had been reading this morning. I am slowly and devotionally reading my way through the Psalms. Today it was Psalm 94. And especially one verse near the end caught my attention. 94:19  “…in the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” It was a challenge when I first read it. Now it was becoming life.

Inquiries about somepne that might be able to help led to dead ends. I tried the usual obvious types of inquiries, and it seemed that this one was going to take a lot more work. Probably tearing up the ceiling below to expose that stupid leak. It became a day filled with futility. Nothing really seemed to turn out well. Yes, Father reminded me that we are on an adventure… I’ve been trying to climb out of the sidecar, and I had forgotten that He was still driving. I chuckled when He first reminded me, but that didn’t seem to erase the dark cloud that had settled in my thoughts.

The afternoon was turning into a pit of anxieties. It’s one thing to try to carry on and make it day by day in this land when everything is just going ok, but this was one more plate to try to keep spinning. It was one more heavy weight to carry when I was already on very, very thin ice. No income, a week of reminders of how alone I am. It all began to fall in around me. I honestly thought for the first time in all of this, that I just didn’t want to go any farther. It is too much trouble. It’s too hard. I don’t even know if it’s really worth it all.  The emptiness, the extra load… I could hear the ice cracking under my feet. I could see the plates falling toward the floor. And then… two things happened at almost the very same time.

First thing was, I got a text from a friend in Indonesia on Yahoo! Messenger.While chatting, I went and brought in the mail.
My friend from Indonesia was an easy and sympathetic victim of my depressive thoughts. Caring and willing to “listen” (that takes on a different meaning now with all the digital conversations we have going on). That is until she asked me a simple question about English grammar, and a phrase she had planned on using for a new outreach campaign. It was not proper English at all, and the phrase was already approved and “going to press.” Embarrassment and panic filled her texts now… what could she do? What would be proper? I gave her a couple of suggestions, and the new campaign slogan was born and an emergency meeting was called.  It was maybe like when Peter was sinking down into the water after a few successful steps, and there, an arm outstretched to put him back into the boat.

At the same time, I was piling  up the mail on my desk. a couple more bills to figure out how to pay. Another one overdue, and the mental calculator is going in my head trying to figure out where the money to pay it will come from. Then…one after another…. envelopes that contained checks for the books that had been shipped out, and a couple that contained extra special gifts. Honestly, probably not enough for the plumber bill, but it was indeed to me, an arm outstretched. As I stretched out an arm to help my friend in Indonesia, Others, sending checks from different places at different times, who were also stretching out an arm to me.

It was a very beautiful and humbling moment, to be reminded that Daddy is there, He is watching. To be honest, I have no idea where this is all going to go. I have no idea where money for mortgage payments, utilities payments, and this plumber are all going to come from, but today, for this moment an arm was outstretched to me, and I grabbed hold with all my might.

…till next time…

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