I’ve given myself a new writing assignment: each Sunday night, I’ll jot down my contemplations from the day before starting another week.
So here it goes — hopefully this will help me stop overthinking my words and just write.
The past week was exhausting and I’m not just talking about the headlines. We were on a weeklong camping excursion in the Upper Peninsula that, in the end, we all decided was useless. Why try to top the beautiful trip we took to Michigan in June?
So what was supposed to be summer’s final hurrah ended up being a trip where two of us sustained pretty intense injuries (on the unforgiving jagged rocks at our campsite within an hour of arrival), one of us lost their drone (in the tall trees of the wild UP wilderness, never to be recovered), and one of us walked away from the week unscathed (it was Lola).
It was HARD. But at least we were in a gorgeous place!
We all have a lot of stories to tell from this one, but we also think maybe camping half of the summer is a lot??? Like, definitely too much???
The week to come will be busy; every Monday after vacation brings an onslaught of emails (although, as our nephew asked on this last trip, would we really call camping a vacation?). Between work and shoots I’ll sandwich in a trip to the vet for Teresa, our 15 year old cat who has allergies (she’s my cat, after all). I’ll also take Lola and her friend to Valley Fair, and sneak in a screening party for the documentary I produced with my friend Maribeth for The Smithsonian. I can’t share what the doc is about yet, but as soon as it airs I’ll spill the beans!
And today Lola &I decided to wear dresses to church (even though church is on the couch). What a mindset shift shimmying into a dress can make! We even kept them on while we went grocery shopping (aka, picking up our Whole Foods to-go and Target Drive-Up orders). It was lovely. Once the car was loaded up with food (our cupboards were bare upon return from Michigan), we drove around the lakes, ending up at the Rose Garden to catch summer’s final burst of blooms in the bright late-August light.
It’s been cool outside in Minneapolis, 74 degrees which means hoodies and jeans for Lola and her friends. I tell her today it’s too soon while simultaneously making soup, blowing my credibility. Seriously though. We have never eaten so much soup in August. It is glorious. Even if it makes me worry about climate change.
After dinner it rained, but not enough, we need more. The drought this year is so bad that none of the city water fountains are running; as we walked past the turtle fountain up by Lake Harriet, Lola wondered where all the wishing pennies went. All of our lawns are brown for lack of watering. Fires are banned in Minnesota state parks. The BWCA just closed for the first time in 45 years. It’s almost like it’s a sign that – hear me out – the climate is changing????
And now the rain has quieted and I’m in my office writing with the wind rustling through the trees out my window, shaking loose droplets and making a sound like a whisper. I’m thinking about God and something Pastor Heather said in church this morning about God turning up where we least expect God to be.
Elijah the prophet was on the run, for all the prophets in Israel were being persecuted to death. He was hiding in a cave where he was visited by God, but not in the way Elijah thinks God will appear.
1 Kings 19:11-13 (emphasis mine)
11“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
In the pre-modern world, people looked everywhere for tangible signs of God’s existence such as fire, wind, and rain. We still look for signs today in our own modern ways, proof of life from a God we cannot see.
Pastor Heather said it’s like God wants to remind us, here and now, that when the world gets loud we need to turn down the noise and tune into God’s voice; to stop looking for a grandiose sign and start listening to the voice that comes as a still small whisper.
It was a reminder to me that, when the week has been exhausting and life won’t slow down and the hurt of the world is at a level 11, my hope and peace can be restored in listening to the One who MADE the earth, INVENTED fire, and SENDS the rain.
And He speaks to each of us in a quiet whisper, exactly where we are at.
This week I’m going to set down my phone and lift up my hands when life feels overwhelming and exhausting.
Because God is kind. What better Sunday Sentiment could there be?