the ordinary world

One of the boys woke up with a fever.

Another brother had suffered through the same malaise, and I could tell by the looks of the lad, our plans for the Presidential Museum would have to wait.  I texted my mother-in-law, to let her know she could still come over.  The sick one took his restful place on the couch.  The rest of us headed to the kitchen table for school.

I read the kids an article by John Piper called How to Live Under an Unqualified President.  The article contained a list documenting many of the president-elect’s widely known flaws and moral failures.  I was hesitant to read that part.  I didn’t want to heap any more shame upon the man.  I asked my husband what he thought.

I went ahead and read the list.  They’ve got to learn somehow.  In this world in which we live, my children have to learn words like adultery, immoral, and demogogue (I had to look that one up).  Something about these discussions will never feel right to me.  The world is a far more beautiful place without words like berate or revenge.

I don’t know if the man is qualified or not, but we can choose the way of honor.  It’s not that I don’t care about what these men have done.  It’s because I care about who God has ordained them to be.  We eventually made it to the end of the article, the heart I will always love and respect John Piper for, the part that inspired me:

“There are peoples whose privileges of prosperity and possibility are vastly inferior to ours. Having been so loved by God to receive the gospel, we are debtors to them (Romans 1:14). Do not think of the molehill of moral and social disadvantages of a Trump presidency. Think of the Himalayan mountain range of blessings we have in Christ.” 

I used my phone to show them pictures of molehills and the Himalayas, and then the kids continued on with grammar and math.  While flipping french toast at the stove, I pictured and pondered and smiled at “the mountain range of blessings we have in Christ.”  We enjoyed our breakfast as a family before tuning in to the inauguration.

~~~~~

Earlier that morning, I looked through my Instagram feed.  I find Instagram to be a peaceful and inspiring form of social media.  I follow a singer/songwriter named Joy Williams. She mostly posts every day pictures of her and her husband or son or the interesting places they travel. Today she posted her personal version of someone else’s song.

She hoped that in some small way, sharing this song could bring people together today.  She was trying to speak hope and healing into the context of a torn and divided country.  She hadn’t been with him.  She was with her.  But all day long I listen to the song, and even though I wasn’t with her, I am healing with her. The art has joined us.

Ordinary World
by Duran Duran

What has happened to it all?
Crazy, some’d say,
Where is the life that I recognize?
Gone away
But I won’t cry for yesterday, there’s an ordinary world,
Somehow I have to find.
And as I try to make my way, to the ordinary world
I will learn to survive.
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This is what I love about art.  Somehow somebody else’s song becomes her song.  And then her song is shared with yet another soul and suddenly it becomes their song.  The Kingdom of Heaven is like mustard seed.  A Himalayan mountain range is made out of a molehill, and before we ever know it, His song becomes our song.

~~~~~

The band begins to play.  I’m clearing off the table and children gather with their father in the living room.  I step into the hall, the monumental buildings, the once and honored presidents, and I have to call the person I can share this moment with.  “Dad!” I say, and I begin to laugh.  He laughs back with me,  “Oh Rebekah!  What a happy day!”
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We don’t talk long.  I return to the living room and I’m like a little kid watching tv.  I want to hear the band, the choir, the justices, the speech.  Somewhere in Washington D.C. is Michelle, the woman I once tabernacled through John with.  No matter where I stand, no matter who is sworn in, I can’t not feel the magnitude of days like this.
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When all is said and done, I pick up the phone again.  I knew of only two people who had openly supported the now President since day one.  One was my Dad.  The other was my Grandma.  Through all the years, all the changes, I’ve never forgotten the delight in her voice.  I’ve never forgotten her phone number.  “Hey Grandma!” I’m laughing again.
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“Hi Honey!”  I  can hear the tears in her eyes.  “Can you believe this?”, I ask.   “Oh Beck”, she’s laughing now, “I can’t believe it.  I’ve been watching all morning.  All morning long I’ve been watching and crying, watching and praying. ”  Hers are not the tears of disenchantment or loss or disappointment.  Hers are the tears of genuine joy.
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“Thank you, Honey”, she says–
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We didn’t talk long.  We didn’t need to.
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“Thank you for sharing this moment with me.”

the little years

cilca

I once read an older woman refer to her childbearing  years as the lost decade.  She had little memory of that time, when the babies were there and the children were small.  She spoke not with a resentment, nor a longing to go back to the days.  It was simply a mysterious period in her life when she had all but vanished.

The youngest one will turn four in a few weeks.  He’s still nursing, but there’s hardly any milk anymore.  There hasn’t been for months.  I said I was hoping to go until he turned three, and here we still are.  Now he’s the one telling me he’ll be all done with beebee milt (baby milk) when he’s this much (holds up four fingers).

And here we are now, and every day, I still can’t believe it.  We live here now.  We lived here once before.  It wasn’t that long ago, when one week out of those summers was spent living at camp, all together in a cabin. Every day I find myself, in the kitchen, in the school room, in the bathroom when I’m cleaning.

I find myself in a moment of silence, remembering.