Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Oh my goodness, Poor Drew.
There I sat on my kitchen floor with my head under the sink looking for the damn button to restart my broken garburator which has my drain smelling like someone took a crap in it.
I’ve been holding it all in for a few days… and I couldn’t contain the flood any longer. Tears dripped faster than raindrops as I engaged in a little pity party.
“Are you crying mom?” he asked.
“Uh huh.”
“Why are you sad?” he wondered.
“It’s not just one thing. It’s a couple.” I replied.
“Can I do something?” he offered.
“Just help me with these dishes and I’ll be fine.”
“It’s nothing you did, by the way.” I added.

“Would you rather wash or dry?” I asked as I filled up the sink.
“Dry. Definitely.”
So with my hands in hot soapy water, I didn’t bother tensing up my stomach or sucking back the angst. I let er flow.
As Drew chatted about things he did the past few days with Sherry and Mikhail, I nodded and murmured and cried quietly.

The past 7 days have been tazmanian-devil-like busy, and even though I attempted to do a lot of good things for the right reasons, I may have bitten off more than I could digest.
At the height of my own personal whirlwind, in the middle of serving 22 people dinner at the cabin, I got a phone call from Clint.
“Mom? Have you heard? Everyone resigned at church. Two more Sundays and then that’s it. What does it mean?”
I gasped for breath as he continued asking me for answers. Numb, I told him I didn’t know.
My insides were agitated. Restless. Tense.
But with guests over an’ all, I couldn’t take the time to process nothin.

Claire called me when I got home on Monday night with additional details and even more questions.
At work on Tuesday, I overheard two of my co-workers talking about it with optimism which left me sceptical.
“Don’t worry, Jane. This isn’t like your last church. We are going to rebuild. Fresh vision. It’s exciting.”
“That’s what we thought at Fraser Heights. Those of us that were there til the end were convinced we could be apart of something new… a phoenix rising from the ashes… and whatnot.”
“No, this is different. We are totally committed.”
“So were we…”

Jonah was a prophet of God who was told to go to Ninevah and warn the citizens of that evil city to turn from their wicked ways.
Jonah wasn’t particularly interested in that gig, so he hopped on a BC Ferry-like ship and sailed in the opposite direction. As it turned out, things got rocky on that vessel as the perfect storm battered it to and fro on the tsunamish waves.
The sailors knew that someone on board was tickin off the Creator so they hunted down ol’ Jonah. Who admitted, yes, it was all his fault. And if they’d just toss him overboard, things would settle down nicely.
So they gave him the heave ho and voila – dead calm.

When our house was sold and I started looking for a place to settle on my own… I investigated 4 different areas. It looked like Murrayville was the obvious God-ordained location for me to raise my boys.
But I didn’t want to live there.
My heart was set on Fraser Heights. For my own reasons including friendships, the church and an affordable brand new house. Oh, and it was in the opposite direction from O-ville. I needed anonymity. Life was too fish-bowlish for me in Langley.
So I let my heart lead and I bought a lovely home.
The rough waters that our church was floating on got choppier.
They shoulda kicked me out.
No one did.
Six weeks later the church closed.
Some of my friends moved away.
And drug-lords moved in beside and behind me. My sweet, safe street soon housed a row of grow ops.

Two years later I threw myself overboard and sold my house.
Then a whale swallowed me and my kids. (We lived with my parents for 10 months.)

Finally in ’03 – we moved into the area that I always thought I should have moved into in the first place.

So that’s why I’m so shaken that this church is struggling.
Do they need to hoist me up and out?

Because, of course, this church’s struggles are entirely my fault.
Because, as a matter of fact, the world does revolve around me. And the weight of that responsibility just gets to me sometimes.
Like tonight.
When the drains in my house stop doing what they’re supposed to.
When too many rooms are being used as a dumping ground for ‘things I’ll get to later’ stuff.
When the grass is dead and the weeds thrive.
When my head and my heart are in conflict.

And when the tears refuse to be stopped.

I’m better now.
I’ve got some good folks praying for me.

And Drew’s gentle smile has an uncanny way of restoring light to a gloomy day.
He was supposed to be at my mom’s place for night tonight. But an unexpected invitation to spend tomorrow at a friend’s house has him right where I need him.

“Hey, look mom,” he said as we stood side by side at the sink. “It’s a full moon tonight. Your favourite. You should go outside for a few minutes and just look at it.”

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Denim shorts
2. Blueberry muffins
3. The recycling depot 2 minutes away from my work


Christine Lindsay said...

This is awesome. First of all as a story, it's brilliant the way you used the Jonah and the whale story to fit your circumstances.

Aside from the literary merit, I'm sad that this has occured. BUT, there will be something around the corner, there always is. God's been good. Look at Clint at camp, Drew's smile, and Max's industriousness. And keep smiling, even if they are wet smiles. :)

Christine Lindsay said...

Looks like I'm posting a second comment to this "Post Revisited." Thank you for putting it up there again, I, too, needed it. Feel a bit like Jonah too these days. But God will get us through, we just hate the yucky, dark parts, don't we. But soon we'll get thrown up on that nice sandy beach and be able to sit under a palm tree for a while . . . just for a while, and then it's back into the sea, boys, back into the sea. :)