Like a preemie held firmly within Almighty Hands, I have felt cocooned and altogether overwhelmed and blown away in these six weeks since the move into my home. The four months of waiting and wading through due process was riddled with unexpected obstacles and gave birth to unimaginable blessing. Yet all that testified as a weak witness to what was to come.
In the morning when I step onto the front screened porch, I am nestled by the sights, sounds and smells of oak and cedar trees, horses and red birds, honey suckle and wild flowers. In the cool of the evening while working underneath these trees, cleaning up the remnants of the fall leaves, the squirrels scurry about yet coming ever so close, unafraid and not offended by my presence. Long before the sun sets, the cool breezes ruffle the branches overhead and spur on the tree frogs to serenade me with their unique symphony. Even as I turn the lights out, I still hear their song as the dark of night settles about me. There is an overwhelming sense of serenity and peace, acceptance and belonging.
Each time I leave the property and as I return, I gaze in wonder at new blooms and jewels I had not noticed before as I approach my home. Each time I walk through my home, I gaze in wonder at the things that fill it even though most of those things have been in my possession for years and years yet now they seem altogether new. Each time I step into the tub, I am in awe at how much more easy and safe independence is with stainless steel grab bars now firmly in place. I have never had access to these before, aside from hotel stays. There is an overwhelming sense of respect and honor, love and affirmation.
A few days ago, the real estate agent who walked with me through the process of gaining the home returned, not for a social visit, but for a day of service. She brought with her shrubs, bushes, flowers and mulch that she along with a half dozen members of her office used to landscape around my front and back doors. I watched as they transformed the corners of bareness into beds of color and life. I also watched in wonder as pallets of lumber and cement were unloaded. Tomorrow the agent and her team return to build a handicap accessible ramp to my back entrance. There is an overwhelming sense of expectancy and discovery, wonder and newness of life.
Today I went to the local Mexican restaurant. I’ve been curious about it ever since I moved back to my hometown. I couldn’t imagine this small town actually having multiple cafes and restaurants, having such diversity and options. It was 4 PM and I was the lone guest. I genuinely smiled at the man who greeted me at the door. He reminded me of a friend from long ago. I enjoyed the meal tremendously and cleaned my plate that was abundantly filled and graciously served. I smiled mischievously when I saw the surprise on that same man’s face when I walked away from the register without waiting for the change. In amazement, he asked, “Are you sure you want to do this?” I was still smiling as I stepped toward the door … and forgot about the slight decline just in front of it. I began to lose my balance but wasn’t alarmed. I knew my cane would balance me again. Suddenly, I felt two firm but gentle hands around my rib cage. The man was offering his strength for my weakness. I will never forget the feeling of those hands around me. There was a pregnant pause. He then escorted me to my car as if I were made of gold.
When I returned home, the news delivered the facts and displayed the photos of the devastation left in the wake of tornadoes of historic proportions. Still conscious of the impression of those hands, taking in the magnitude of loss and damage from a force of nature, my senses became alert to yet another overwhelming fact of life. “How Great Thou Art” was being sung on a nationally syndicated game show. I sat overwhelmed and blown away, yet acutely aware of being protected, of being loved, of being royally esteemed.