A friend sent a message from her farm in Iowa, saying she was praying and that God loved me. Loves me. And I went on about my day complete with emails and tweets and RTs and deadlines and meetings and saying grace and dinner and groceries and all the rest of it. All through it I was fighting against that lump at the back of my throat.
I reached for a cart and forced a smile at a man in jeans and his tiny daughter in orange sandals who held his hand, and he let his steps keep pace with hers. No hurry. No worry.
I wanted to be like him. But my list fit on a post-it note and I was overwhelmed. My cart had wheels that wobbled. And squealed. And so I slowed my roll.
“Even when I don’t know the details, I can talk to the One who knows every bit of it. And you know that He knows,” she had written.
At the register, I stood behind a little girl who asked her daddy for some candy and he said, “We’ll see.” He leaned to see the price of a jumbo candy bar wrapped in orange and paused before he said, “OK” and she smiled big as he did silent calculations in his head and waited for his debit card to clear.
“…I wanted you to know that I’ve been talking to Him about you today, Deidra, and He loves you so,” her message said.
When my turn came, I counted out my sixteen items and chatted in small sentences. I wheeled my wobbly cart out through the doors and thought that’s where my day would end.
But my friend had been praying, and God was on display.
When I walked out of the grocery store at the end of that day, everybody noticed it. The murmuring was unmistakable. “Wow, honey. Just look at that!” The man behind me whistled out a low breath of amazement. It seemed I exhaled from my toes and my heart nearly emptied itself out onto my soul.
And I don’t know if anyone else noticed, as I weaved my cart with that one wheel still wobbling and squeaking, that I fought hard against the tightening at the bottom of my throat. I caught my breath as God waltzed out a love letter in the sky. I didn’t want to miss the dance.
I put the groceries in the trunk and buckled myself into the driver’s seat. I drove myself to an open field and turned off the headlights in the dusk. Opening the door, I turned off the engine and stood with one foot in the car and the other on the ground.
I raised my hands to heaven and my heart whispered, reminding me that clouds are the dust of His feet. And I was small under that great big sky that moved and bowed and shifted colors right before my eyes. Through tears and awe I sang, “Hosanna. Be lifted higher.” My heart bowed low when I thought of one sweet soul sending up prayer songs on my behalf and the great love of this God who keeps pace with us, responding to her in a dance over a field just for me.
The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing. ~Zephaniah 3:1 (NIV)
How about you? Can we kneel before God for you today? Do you fight hard inside, but with a smile on the outside? Can we ask God to keep pace with you?
Sky photos by Michelle DeRusha, used with permission.