After driving 10 hours to my sister's house, getting unpacked (relatively) and assessing the situation in the home, I sat down to "chill." I wasn't going to knit unless there were long periods of time, of waiting, or being quiet in my "back room." But Big Sis insisted on getting out the needles and string, so there we were late into the evening knitting, crocheting combining yarns, showing finished projects, pulling out pictures of the next patterns in our collective creative libraries, and a certain calm settles in the room. The chaotic existence we call life is on pause.
Big Sis is on the brink. Her hubby has a life threatening disease. He's currently in severe pain and unable to eat solid food or tolerate very many liquids, he isn't thriving and an air of sadness and finality looms.
She wanders from necessity to desire and back, like a squirrel trying to choose which nut to store for the inevitable winter, then she pauses, and remembering her plight and spews out the great questions of life. She has a certain peace and it shows up in every conversation, but it's layered with the unknown, the obvious, underlined by the occasional moan from the other room ... grief has already gripped this sweet little cabin called home, and the newest question is, "Is God preparing me for the pain to come, or is Satan robbing me of what I've treasured for so long?
I heard a sermon on the radio in the car on the way here, as I played bumper cars with the semi-truck drivers on the interstate. The message narrowed life down to 2 questions asked in the Bible. One, Jesus asked, "Who do they say I am?" The other question people asked when they personally encountered Jesus, "What must we do?"
In the face of crisis, I believe we go back to our own personal "experience" quicker than we digress to grass roots "faith." But after exploring our options we end up heavier on faith, knowing that experiences may be carrying us like a trusty old ox cart on a bumpy pitted road ... we can get into the cart and ride it awhile, but the road has changed since the last time, and it's probably a different ox doing the pulling. I'm thankful for the experiences that have made me who I am, but I'm looking to a God who NEVER CHANGES ...
BUT FAITH - wow, it never changes, other than maybe deepening, strengthening, encouraging, and defining ...
As I knit along, and talk, and tear out all the work I just started, I look across the room at my Big Sis and say to her how pretty and peaceful she looks. She smiled and thanked me and said she needed sister time to get things into perspective. I'm so grateful that I am able to jump in the car and travel the distance, drop out of my life and land into hers for awhile. I'm good with starting over ... God is in the suffering for sure - giving grace and peace and comfort. I'm looking for HOPE to fill this home, and our sweet extended family in the next few months.