Moving in two directions

We have come through another storm through which it was not "easy to trust". But we have been sustained...nourished, even...through the desert, and find ourselves in the green pasture of home once again. I am hard at work on school and some extra writing I took on for Lippincott to make up some of the lost income if Aaron were out of work for an extended period. His health is improving by leaps and bounds, and he expects to be back at work later this week. Caleb had a great night and has had more energy and less pain today on a more nutritious, home-cooked diet.

How fast the time flies! Under the duress of hospitalization after hospitalization, I feel the bittersweet ache over lost time with my growing girls. It is the burden of every parent when one of their children develops special needs. Two weeks ago, in an unseasonably hot streak of spring weather, I looked out the window and saw my two girls in rapt, giggling conversation on the porch. The sensation in my chest was half sorrow, half joy as I reflected on the fleetingness of toddlerhood and the consequent joy these sisters will have, growing up together. It reminded me again of a favorite quote from Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose: She was like a traveler still on the road on one of those evenings when sun and moon, one rising as the other sets, face each other across the world.

I am watching Katy fly through a biology textbook, teaching her to carry and borrow when adding and subtracting large numbers, and shepherding her new-found joy of reading, channeling her into my own childhood loves - Encyclopedia Brown, Boxcar Children, Happy Hollisters, the "red book" treasuries. Rosy and I are working on printing, discovering all kinds of art and music we both adore, learning numbers and letters and shapes and a little French. These days are oh, so short, and so precious. In my spirit, I feel one hand gripping the shirttails of these two growing girls and their daily lives, while my face is necessarily turned toward the needs of the younger two, who have been ill. I pray for a greater sense of balance in the coming days as I am home, at long last, with all four.

"I have become absolutely convinced that neither death nor life...neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow has any power to separate us from the love of God" (Rom 8:38-39 JBP). So wrote Paul, whose life did not represent a series of events in which we would say it was "easy to trust." It was not easy. It was necessary. A life free from suffering would be a life in which faith in God would be a mere frill. A human life, on the contrary, is one in which faith is a necessity.