Today’s another overcast grey morning. There’s been several of those lately, but today the rain has finally stopped. It has left the ground saturated and solemnly quiet, except for the amplified sounds of the birds chirping outback. What a great backdrop for the Lord to step into the morning and let me know: “Here I am!”
Throughout life God is consistent in saying, “Here I am!” It doesn’t matter how old or how young we are, every woman will see those times of magnificent high points in our lives, sprinkled with those extreme lows when the rain will come. But God does not waiver. He is still there, and still listening, He continues to stand at the door and knock. Our hearts, our lives, and even the smallest of our details matter to Him.
I found myself reminded of that precious truth the other day as I did something as simple as opening the kitchen cupboard and reaching for a coffee cup. But that morning was different, when out of the blue my heart jumped back to more than 18 years ago when my eyes caught a glimpse of that old Bear Mug. Stacy’s Bear Mug.
At first I couldn’t figure out how it got there. This particular mug normally only gets brought out for our two granddaughters when they visit. Other than that, it is tucked safely behind the other mugs. Then it hit me, I must have been moving things around when putting the dishes away. So I hadn’t noticed the bear mug got pushed to the forefront; but there it was.
Now, this morning that little bear mug was right out front and so were the memories it triggered. I am not sure why seeing the face of that smiling bear set things in motion, but it did. At first I was trying to be staunch, I don’t normally give in when seeing that mug, but today those memories were vivid, they could not be choked back.
When our hearts are torn, hurting, or we are in need, a back door friend can be a special blessing. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.” Rev. 3:20… My friend was at the door! My Lord was already waiting and ready to be that back door friend. Yes, He is a Savior, but on this particular morning He was my neighbor, my comforter, my kitchen table friend. It was as if He had come to my back door, and was knocking to see if He could come in to my kitchen and sit with me for a while as I recalled the first day Stacy arrived.
With her garbage bag in hand, full of everything she owned, which was nothing more than a couple pair of jeans, a few shirts, a pair of shoes and some underwear: I could still see her standing there just inside the front door.
It surprised me. I recall wondering why she had no real personal items in her bag. There were no notebooks, music, stuffed animals, nothing that showed who she was or gave her a history. I also recalled thinking maybe it was best to not ask too many questions to let things unfold. They did. She was a talker. Things flowed by just spending the rest of the day letting her talk, eat and then talk some more. She was feeling comfortable. That’s when she finally mentioned the bear; she would like a bear of her own. From there her collection started. A stuffed bear, bear ornaments, bear notebooks and this, her bear mug.
Without realizing it, a good deal of time had passed. My coffee had gotten cold and the sky was beginning to clear. The Lord was still with me.
Here I am!
I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Revelation 3:20 NIV
Much like this mornings sky cleared from dark grey to a soft blue, I can honestly say my heart no longer feels the pain that was there on the original day we had to say goodbye to Stacy. Her cancer had drained my heart and took her life. That was an unbearable pain, but my Lord bore it for me and carried me until I was able to process all that had happened. There is such a sweetness in that recollection now. His Hands were big enough to see me through and so were His scars.
Even today, there is an ache from the memory of that pain, much like a woman who has gone through the pain of giving birth. The memory is still there, but now, there is a glow from the new life that the pain brought with it. Stacy is alive and living somewhere else. Her new life came first from accepting Christ while she was still here on Earth, but more importantly, when her body separated from me, I knew she was safe. For now she is living in her forever home with Jesus.
However, I have to be honest, there are times when that emptiness can be stirred back to life with something as small and unexpected as a little bear mug. And it is then that God, in His all knowing compassion steps in, with words that may seem simple, but they go straight to my heart: “Here I AM.