Where ya been?
The keyword of my life lately has been ‘connect’. That, and the woeful lack thereof, as the case may be. As you are well aware, little is heard from Green Pastures or Sound Bites these days except the plaintive whistling through the hollow reaches of cybersphere and the occasional tumbleweed meandering across your monitor along with the amaranthine chirping of techno-crickets.
I have been beset by mind-cramps, faithful reader, and those incessant mental charley horses have caused me to seize up and rub it out until it goes away.
My Outlook Express has decided to join the mournful processional by going feet-up for the past two weeks. So help me, if I have to look at another ugly window popping up telling me my server has not connected for the past 60 seconds and would I like to wait another 60 seconds, I may be shopping for yet another laptop as this one will be sporting a nice clean 20-gauge grin in its kisser.
No telling how many emails I have idling out there which has given me the uneasy sensation of having my tether ripped free from the mother ship and being slowly drawn far out into collapsing darkness and utter cold. Nooooooo!
All this has me looking for a soccer ball with which I might strike up a friendship and wondering how I’d look in a long, scruffy beard.
Now I find out that my internet browser is giving me the cold shoulder, sharing the news that it has encountered a problem and must shut down and asking me to forgive it for any inconvenience. Again and again. For the past twenty-four hours. You are most definitely not forgiven, Firefox.
All my bookmarks, all those saved articles, every designated folder. Gone. Kablooey. Kaput. With a resigned sigh, I regrettably slump back toward my old nemesis, IE7, and pray it will accept me back into its good graces. Great. Just great.
Welcome, old friend.
Where have you been?
(grinning fiendishly) We knew you’d be back…
Lest you think all in my life has been on disconnect, I need to tell you about a connection that I made recently that trumps all these bloopers rolled into one. This past weekend I spent twenty-four hours with my son who has been away at a school for troubled youth for nearly six months. I haven’t said much about it, and won’t, except to say that our prayers for a jubilee over his life seem to have a strong hearing in Heaven and the recent shifts in the atmosphere tell us that a very significant corner has been turned.
Will it last? Not sure. There may be setbacks and hard miles yet to come, but we have assurance that whatever it is that God wanted to get out of him in this chapter of his young life, He seems to have done just that.
Our life with Graham has consisted of a weekly ten minute phone call and a handful of short visits. It’ll tear your heart out like nothing else when you take your monthly visit and when time’s up, to watch your only child disappear slowly behind the front door of an austere barrack-like building and you drive away, leaving him there, facing a fourteen hour drive home. And all you want to do is call it all off, that this can’t be right, that we can make it work, but knowing every agonizing minute that the battle for his soul requires such sacrifice.
So be it, Lord. Get Your glory in this…
I came within an eyelash of not making July’s visit and, boy, am I glad I listened to God.
Thursday morning, Douglasville, GA.
I lay in bed, sensing the Lord was telling me I needed to go. How can I, Lord? The drive alone will put me back into Shepherd for more skin surgeries. Go. But, Lord, gas is so high. Go. But there’s a special speaker at church this Sunday and I’ll need to introduce him. Go, go, go!
It took some convincing of Sandy to let me do it by myself but we agreed it was right, however I’d need to ask a special favor of the school. I reached for the phone and dialed the all-familiar number.
“So, Mr. Mitchell, are you coming?”
“Yes I am, but I need to ask a huge favor…”
Thursday morning, SAME EXACT TIME, Northeast USA.
Graham was bummed because he’d been told his parents would likely not be able to make it for the upcoming visitation. He asked to stay in his room and fast through lunch, crying out to God for a miracle. Please, God, let my parents come and see what you’re doing in my life. Make a way, Lord.
Early that afternoon, a knock on the door startled his praying. A head popped inside informing Graham that he was needed in the counselor’s office. He was met there by his primary counselor and given the news that not only was his Dad coming for the weekend but they were giving special dispensation to have Graham spend the night in the hotel just so he could take care of his disabled father.
I cannot tell you all that transpired in those twenty-four hours but suffice to say what I hoped from them and what he hoped were not only realized but nitrogen-boosted beyond our expectations. Around 1 a.m. and back at the room finally, Graham pulled out his guitar and asked if he could play a song that has become his testimony. I said yes, of course, and found myself praying that the Lord would give temporary deafness to anyone behind those thin walls wanting to get a good night’s sleep.
There is a God who loves me
Who wraps me in His arms
And that is the place where I’m changed
And that’s where I belong
Take me to that place, Lord
To that secret place where
I can be with You
You can make me like You
Wrap me in Your arms
Wrap me in Your arms
Wrap me in Your arms
I’d been up for over twenty-four hours; in fact, I’d only had two hours’ sleep in the previous 40, but there was no fading on my part. Miraculously, I was wide-awake still and glad I had not missed this. And, wonder of wonders when my son looked at me with those bright, shame-free, tear-washed innocent eyes and said, “thanks, Dad, for sending me up here.”