On Monday, on a perfect Oregon summer day in Bend, I spent the morning in my son’s backyard watching a 96% eclipse. It was glorious! The bonus was that it was my son’s birthday, and for the first time in I can’t remember how many years I got to be with my son to celebrate his birthday. This included getting to bake his favorite chocolate pie with my grandsons.
O ye nights and days, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
O ye light and darkness, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
On Tuesday, the winds shifted, and smoke and ash from fires twenty miles away began to blow towards Bend, and by afternoon the pollution made it unsafe to go outside.
O ye fire and heat, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
On Wednesday, my grandsons and I were having a lovely lolling day, largely inside because of the continuing smoke and ash outside, when I got a text from a friend that she was praying for me ahead of the storm.
What storm? Turns out a hurricane was likely approaching Houston this weekend, right about the time I was scheduled to fly home.
I have to admit. My flood-ptsd kicked in. Would I be able to get home? Would my newly restored home be flooded again?
O ye Showers and Dew, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Winds of God, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.
On Thursday, I tried to find my centered in God place. It was difficult not to be distracted. It was a challenge not to keep going to the internet. It was a hard not to go into anxiety mode. I knew that I was safe with my family, and I had that day to play with my grandboys.
So I took them rock climbing. It was Austin’s second time so he already felt like a pro. Jonas, four, was not so sure. Austin geared up with rock climbing shoes and safety harness and began to climb. Jonas and I watched below as Austin climbed, slipped, climbed again, and finally rappelled down. After watching Austin face challenges and persevere and delight at accomplishments, Jonas was ready to climb.
Their cries of, “Grandma, look at me! Grandma, did you see that? Grandma, look how high I am!” are good prayer versicles.
God, look at us. God, did you see that? God, look how high we are!
The memory of their climbing shoes and safety harnesses are a reminder of God’s presence with us, protecting our steps, keeping us safe even when we fall.
O ye priests of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
O ye servants of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
O give thanks unto the Lord, because he is gracious: for his mercy endureth for ever.
O all ye that worship the Lord, bless the God of gods, praise him, and give him thanks: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(Canticle from the Apocryphal book of The Prayer of Azariah)