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Saturday, August 14, 2010

A good morning

Today I had a good morning. I left the house about 6:30am to take Gabby for a walk. Though I would have liked for the humidity to have been lower, I was grateful for the quiet time to start the day.

Morning walks give me a chance to think and to pray about the day ahead, the people I love and the challenges that may be in front of me. Sometimes I even sing out loud while I'm walking -- though I try to make sure no one else is around. At 6:30 on a Saturday morning, you can be pretty assured of solitude. And if the dog minds my singing, she's never let me know.

On this morning's walk, I had plenty on my mind. Most of it involved turning the numbers of our budget over and over in my head, thinking about where we could make sacrifices and where it is money well spent. I could feel my anxiety level rising, so I just prayed "God, help me to trust that it will all be ok. Give me the strength to make the hard decisions where they need to be made."

As Gabby and I continued on our walk, I decided to take a different route than normal, in part to just change up the routine and in part because I wanted to go by the strip mall that burned to the ground earlier this summer and see the progress of the demolition that is underway. Nearing the grocery store, I decided to walk behind it so as to avoid Gabby sneaking up on anyone with a bag full of groceries, as unlikely as that would be so early in the morning.

Thinking again about credits and debits in our bank account, I walked down the alley behind the store and happened upon the dumpsters sitting out back. Several noises drew my attention (and Gabby's) and I encountered a man standing in the dumpster, looking for something. He didn't appear to notice me and I, a little embarrassed to have seen him there, walked on without saying anything. But inside, I was saying plenty.

"Ok God," I said to myself. "Things could be much worse. I know."

Who knows what that guy was dumpster diving for. Maybe it was food. Maybe he accidentally threw away his watch in the store's trash? It doesn't really matter. What matters is that seeing him there, standing in the dumpster and going through bags of who knows what, gave me some perspective.

I was still thinking about that man and the message that finding him there held for me when Gabby and I reached the fencing that barricades off what is left of the strip mall. I was curious to see how far the demolition crews have gotten, how much of the strip is recognizable. But as we approached, my first view was this:

Photobucket

I was struck by the color of the unattended flowers against the backdrop of soot and dirt and concrete rubble. And I was reminded of God's grace, which does not assure us that our lives will be without despair and difficulty, but which does provide the promise of His presence and comfort even as we are standing in the mess.

It was a very good morning.

11 comments:

kimybeee said...

sounds like you had an awesome morning - glad you and your canine friend had such a blessed walk together!

Anonymous said...

Amy, I was reading a book just last night that said almost exactly the same thing. God does not promise a life of ease but that he will never leave us. Hmmm...I wonder if He is trying to get my attention. I am listening!
Jenny

Eternal Lizdom said...

Great post, Amy!

Sharon said...

What a good morning! So happy for you. :)
Such an uplifting post. I love those walks.

We went to Mass last night, and the homily reflected a lot of what was in your post. Something that really stuck w/ me-the Deacon gave the homily, and he reminded us that even the Saints, with all their deep, blind faith, even they were not free from crosses and life's trials. That really struck me and had an impact.

Momza said...

So thoughtful and inspiring, Amy.
Thank you!

Karen & Gerard said...

When we pray, God has a way of giving us peace and helping us put things into perspective. I like praying on my morning walk to the bus stop on my way to work.

Stopping by from Saturday Samplings.

Sharon Cohen said...

Thank so much for adding this to Saturday Sampling. I want to quote you on my Facebook Status - to encourage and lift others: Sharon Cohen is praising Him for "the promise of His presence and comfort even as we are standing in the mess."

Thank you for showing us what He showed you as you walked last Saturday. Such a blessing you have made of His word.

Emily said...

Lovely post. It reminded me that even though my family is going through an extremely rough time, it could always be worse.

Kirby3131 said...

That was some fire - I went and read your post on the fire and then clicked over to the page with the photos. It was an incredible fire, but the story of your hair salon is equally incredible.

Kristin - The Goat
by way of Saturday Sampling.

Mrs4444 said...

What a beautiful post, Beth! It's amazing what you can see when your eyes are open. Awesome.

Amy said...

Thanks Mrs. 5555s... (PS, it's Amy, not Beth.) LOL! Just picking on you a bit.