Three wooden crosses

I wasn't thinking about it when I woke up this morning.  In fact, I'm not even sure I've committed this date to memory.

Is it because I'd rather forget very sad things?

I have this old perpetual calendar, gifted to me by a friend maybe 15 years ago.  On its pages, sometimes when I remember, I've added life events.  Births, celebrations, major happenings, I simply write them on that date's page.

Since I've returned from Germany and life is still slightly out of whack, days run together like a watercolor rainbow.  We no longer get the newspaper delivered and were it not for my cell phone, I'd never know the date for sure.

But I knew yesterday was the 7th because I had a doctor's appointment and had to sign and date a form and my phone told me it was January 7th.  So that means today is the 8th.

My old perpetual calendar sits atop a tiny little side table in my bedroom, relegated to near obscurity because my new one is downstairs in a more prominant position.  I can't seem to throw it away because it tells my history, it remembers for me.  

So I flipped it from January 6th to today and in the top left corner, a scribble–the first spot I choose to record something on any given day–"Daddy died 2007."

Do you remember that scene in Somewhere in Time when Christopher Reeve finds the coin in his pocket and he's mercilessly slung back to the present?  That future-dated penny is a portkey to his present.  

My old calendar is a portkey to my past and when I read those words this morning, I was hurled back in time.  I stood there frozen…remembering.  I saw where I was sitting when I got the news, I felt it like yesterday's chill.  My heart ached as I pictured the last time I saw my father…withered and restless and barely recognizable, a soul begging for release from diseased shell.  

My eyes unconsciously shifted down the page.  An Emerson quote–

They can conquer who believe they can.

And a verse from Matthew, 17:20-21–

If you have faith as small as a mustard seed…
Nothing will be impossible for you.

He's encouraging from the grave.  I ascribe to him Providence, but I know it's Abba-Father…kindly, gently redeeming the pain of loss and void and words never spoken.  

There's this thing I'm working on.  A project with potential to be much bigger than me.  Something I'm excited about, believe in, suspect could make a difference in not only my life but in the lives of others.

But, like I said, it's bigger than me and it's easy to waver. Doubt.  Think myself crazy.  Give up.

But then I receive a cheer, a rallying call, a battle cry from a man and a Man.

It's a little later and I'm downstairs, and I find my new calendar and flip to today.  My friend Bonnie has this to say–

If you're feeling hesitant to go for the blessings God's put on your heart this year, don't hold yourself back because of history or shortcomings in your view. Jesus isn't looking for perfect people.  He's eager to show us that he can make something beautiful out of our lives…

A lump is growing in my throat and I swallow it back down because, r e a l l y …?  Two words of affirmation?

Two words of confirmation??

A smile curls my lips.  Light casts off shadows.  A push compels me to next steps.  

And tomorrow I'll flip the calendar to nine.


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