He stood on a Gloucester street corner playing a flute. Odd sight except for a tip bucket at his feet. I rolled down my windows to catch the sound of someone doing what they could with what they had. The talent wasn’t worthy of a Grammy but that’s not always the goal. Sometimes you play to sing for your supper, or simply release sweet sounds into a world riddled with discord. Like last Sunday when we sang OUT LOUD at church. Sweet sounds of singing altogether.
Or Tuesday night when I reluctantly “picked up my flute to do what’s possible” and speak on grief and loss to the Stephen Ministry group via Zoom. The leader suggested I refer to journal entries written on CaringBridge during Jud’s illness. Mostly I’d resisted looking back, rereading those notes until now. Part of me feared I’d get stuck back there, weeping like there’s no tomorrow.
But tomorrows came and so did today. And sometimes the heart and will to go on comes in choosing to be thankful for what was and appreciating what is. Like Dr. Mary Pipher wrote, ” Gratitude is a survival skill.”
The day before Jud died I wrote,”The miracle I longed for isn’t happening. I’m not sure what constitutes a true miracle , apart from ones in the Bible like the blind seeing, lame leaping and deaf hearing. But today I’m wondering if I’m too stuck on the physical kind. What about mental or spiritual miracles? Like having done all to still stand,(Ephesians 6) trusting God, even while lying down, vulnerable in a hospital gown, with swollen feet belly and legs, with sores and cancer creep. Like Jud’s wordless declarations that God loves me and you to the last drop, to the last breath.”
Not all Daniels or Daniellas get rescued from hungry lions.
Maybe the miracle then, as now, is choosing again and again to do what’s possible with what’s in our hands. Make the appointment. Do the treatment. Get the vaccine. Share the meal. Relinquish. Forgive. Pray anyhow. Hope on. Pick up our flute and play. Faith with sleeves rolled up. Choosing to trust God without answers, signs, wonders or tips in the bucket.
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