At 4 in the afternoon, the baby puts herself to sleep on the couch and the man washes the sawdust from his hair and loads the truck for church. He’s spent his morning wielding a power saw and tape measure, building benches around the perimeter of the deck. He’s a man of the cloth and not a builder of the stuff, and so I love this gift more than any other gift he’s ever given me. They’re beautiful, not because they’re perfect, but because he made them. Just for me.
He wears his new shirt, the pink pinstripe with the collar, the one he said he didn’t like when I bought it for him. He holds his head a little higher when he leaves he yard and so I know he must have changed his mind about the pink stripes.
The other kids pile in the truck with him and I stay home with the sick one.
She sleeps on the couch. Her cheeks burn red from fever and I watch her sleep. She breathes heavy and I breathe with her, my own sort of heavy.
The birds who’ve made a nest in the eaves of our home swoop in and out of their hidey hole and in the quiet I can hear their wings beat within the small space. Their babies chirp hungry and I know we need to patch that hole. Maybe in the Fall.
I watch the cars line the street a few doors down and smoke billows from the grill in the front yard and I can hear them hooting and hollering. Somebody’s mama is getting loved on and I wonder what it’s like to be her. To have a house full and a yard full and to have all the neighbors see love like that spilled out on a lawn. I think it’s beautiful.
Boys in gym shorts and tight muscle t-shirts dribble basketballs down the center of the street. Five of them, whipping towels at one another and gulp Gatorade from bottles, all smiles and white teeth against brown skin and I smile from my family room. They walk in slow motion and I watch them try to walk and dribble and chug Gatorade while keeping their gym shorts above their socks. They’re all losing their pants. I feel somewhat guilty watching them walk out of their drawers, but I laugh and keep watching.
Time slows all the way down and still I sit and watch and breathe.
Sometimes, in snatches of moments like these, I feel God watching me. It’s weird, I know. But I do.
I think He ordered the world to move in slow motion and so in that 1 hour when I behave in the manner in which He created me to behave, in my mind, I imagine His eyes resting on me.
And I imagine Him smiling and nodding and cheering me on.
Isn’t that an odd thing to imagine?
God applauding rest…