Bored and laying on my bed beside a dusty screen on a sultry summer evening, I’d flick the yellowed paint off the windowsills, revealing the barren wood beneath. Stale breezes would find me in wisps, drying beads of perspiration that birthed on my brow.
Nearly suffocating, I’d lie there, waiting for the next puff from the swirling purple hued sky above. It was late August and the steamy heat made it difficult to breathe…asthmatic, I would envision my death and plan my funeral as I gasped for air.
A lifetime later, I feel this way now. Though air conditioning replaced the need to lie beside the window, I still gasp for air, but asthma is not the reason.
No longer peeling the paint from the windowsills, I see it has been done for me. Nature’s fury unleashed its harshness on our home, curling the paint, dirtying the siding, drying the wood, cracking our driveway and allowing sticky, angry weeds to emerge. Inside is more troubling, appliances crying for repose, furniture buckling, carpeting thin and worn to its woven base beneath, and lately, empty cupboards.
Not as if we have not tried….
For nearly eight years, we fought and fought hard. We fought the big guys; the ones who robbed my husband’s youth, health, fire, and his ability to outwork, out-exercise and out-laugh anyone I knew.
Him worshipping in pain remains the most agonizing for me to witness.
I see him now, a shell of what he once was, shrunken, weepy, tired, and grimacing in agony…….every day.
And how I have changed; worn, tired, weak and sickly. All because of them…the ones who hurt us. They have accomplished what they wanted… disregard for human life, irresponsibility, wearing us to brokenness, and futility. Nothing can bring this back.
My soul relates to the barrenness, the dryness of the wooden windowsill of my youth, for I feel as if the paint has been peeled from my body, leaving an empty version of myself behind. It is suffocating, and at times I have prayed for death….and felt shameful afterwards.
So, on the twilight of this year, I wrestle with many things and homelessness is one of them. Thoughts pummel my unsettled mind: Where will we be? What will become of us? And does anyone care about the injustice?
But then, I am reminded of the sparrows.
Always the sparrows……….and God’s promise to care for us even more than them.
And so, we carry on.
In Jesus Christ who has given us the grace to endure.
And as I gaze up to the swirling purple-hued late August sky, I cry out once more: “Help”