My own reflection in the glass of the China Cabinet caught my eye one evening after tea company left and I scrambled to rinse and dry each dirtied piece before dinner.
A picture snapped with an arm full of delicate pieces held safely against me. Some doubly handed down from Grandmother to Mother and finally to me. Treasures. History. My history. Their history.
The old hymn played on my phone while I rinsed and dried all the fancy things;
“this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long...”
The hymn and my duties collided in that moment when I saw my reflection. Living out my story in the simplest of ways - stacking dishes and humming, slippers scuffing the cracked stone tiles that have seen more use than they’re able to handle, hands wet up to my elbows and my hair tossed on top of my head like a red bow.
We live to the quick in this house, deeply in our rough skin and sometimes rough hearts. We clash at times and bend for, and blend to each other at other times. Every day is different but the lessons and living always the same;
“Pray about it sweetie, God will show you.”
“Your dinners warming in the oven, babe.”
“Forgive him quickly and try again.”
“Leave plenty of room for others to speak.”
“God will never leave you, keep courage.”
He grabbed my hand on what was likely to be the last warm night of the year and dragged me onto our quiet road. He had shut all the outside lights off and began to walk, towing me beside him.
“I have cookies in the oven, I really can’t stay long” I reminded him.
“It’ll only take a minute.” He said. “Look up.”
Stars. Thousands of glittering specks of light tossed into the blackest sky I’d ever seen. And a slice of moon giving it’s best shot at stamping shadows all over the ground. We walked silently down the center of the road, heads tilted, necks craned and nothing but the sound of our steps beneath us and the breath within us.
“God’s so good to us, Andy.” I whisper into the darkness.
I could hear myself breath, the rise and fall of oxygen to lungs repeated effortlessly bearing awareness to my feeble life, my tiny frame in the mix of all the other small and quiet lives lived before me. And I wondered, how many people have breathed life down this road? How many people believed their one moment to breath held purpose? Their breaths of pursuit and ambition, with vision and story, hardship and labored strength were more than unconscious behavior but by great design. How many starry nights had God looked on and watched desperate hearts reach to the heavens, craning their necks to see, taking their one chance to inhale and live and seek His face?
So many came before me.
And here we are. It’s our turn to breath and to live, to walk empty roads under the starriest of nights and pour hot tea into pretty china for those who exhale beside us.
With breath in your lungs I remind you - You have purpose. Today is your day. This is your hour. This is your story. This is your song.
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” -Psalm 150:6
"My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass." Psalm 102:11