This afternoon, I escaped the mayhem here and went downtown, to the big library to fetch a book my son left at the lake. The library had two copies. I would just be a minute — just long enough to head to the second floor, past the great Christmas Train display in the lobby, past the second floor mole habitat on the landing… and of course, to peruse the stacks, just a bit, to see if there is anything missing on my bookshelf.
What to do when life is not how we know it.
Silently… I am relieved. I don’t have to bring them down here. I can just get my books. Next year, I just won’t even bother to get them out— and this doesn’t make me sad in the tiniest way. They are not what makes Christmas — they are obstacles to Christmas.
A cold of gigantic proportions has descended upon me, and I had thought getting outside in the fresh cold air, would lift me back to health. I soon realized I am far worse than I imagined… and this little outing was going to take its toll.
But I still had the stacks. I know that walking through the aisle, peering at the bindings, the words on the spine that intice me to just “peek” would lift my spirits. Those rows of books have a memorizing spell on me… times doesn’t fly… it just stops. I will take just a second to peer into this book… and the next… and then I head to the computer terminal to look up a the Dewey Decimal system on different topic… let’s see, where are they, the 248s.
On purpose, I never check the last few numbers behind the decimal, so I’ll have an excuse to look at explore more books. Â Books that never seem to show up on the computer portal when I am searching at home.
But today, I was sick. I’m not even sure how many minutes I spent there, but I hurried myself along. I grabbed my son’s book off the shelf, and came out with 16 books of my own to read. Other than the weirdÂ nosyÂ guy who kept peering over my shoulder to see the titles of books I wasÂ typingÂ into the computer, it was an uneventful trip. All of the books fit perfectly into my book bag, so I didn’t look tooÂ clumsyÂ walking down the steps into the lobby, past the train display, so I could visit the checkout station. As I scan one, I realize it is not for me — so I walk it back over to the drop off. Fifteen books for me — one for my son. ‘
I still have to pinch myself, that these are all “free.”
And here is the point — this is my gem. I have made it home, made it through dinner, not quite through clean up, although I have cleaned the bathroom, Â I am sitting with my tissues, my head stuffed with a cold, barely able to breath, scared to death that this cold will migrate to my chest… sipping my vinegar… and my eyes are pouring out tears. My ears, once clogged are opening. I’m reading the words of Patricia Raybon. Her true life journey as she signs the papers to admit her husband into life-saving surgery. She prays. She finds peace… she thinks she has answered prayer. But then, her husband tells her he’s worse. After all of her praying! And she felt so victorious, and now she is defeated. I’m not even to the middle of the book yet….
The story is not about her husband’s miraculous recovery (I think he does recover in the end) but it is the journey of her walk through the dark days of doubt, faith and fear. Her mind wrestling with viability of miracles.
Patricia Raybon reads Andrew Murray like I do… like a novel. Like a dear old friend. No one likes to read Andrew Murray — he speaks in thoughs and thees — and everyone puts his books down. But it is in the thoughs and thees that I get centered, and focused on the practicalities he is dispensing.
So, Patricia Â Told the Mountain to Move. She looks at her life direclty in the eye, and doesn’t like what she sees. Her life is not how she knew it. It has changed. She must make a choice, so she tells the mountain to move.