Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hermits are us...

The joy of my Good Shepherd is that two folks here who I think really want to be friends are quite game for their new friend to be a hermit.  I have been reading Alcott lately, since I got all these books free for the Kindle I was given.  Her words would probably would read: 

"Perhaps you will make being a hermit fashionable!"  
"I need at least one eccentric friend, so you will fit the bill splendidly!"  

In any case, I was quite humbled today because one of those folk texted me since she knew today would be a hard day and asked if I wanted company.  She had asked me a while ago what I needed and I told her that on hard days I long to not be alone, even if the one with me leaves me alone.  I am not sure what I expected, but we had a long lovely visit! 

I was crying when she came, but I was also on the phone with Pizza Man, who was encouraging me right and left.  I greatly miss the gentle, frank, open welcome of he and his lovely bride.  God has just blessed them with the most beautiful baby girl in the entire world at the moment and things are quite hectic.  Plus, during Holy Week, my old parish meets at their home.  Even though they were about to be inundated with church folk, he was genuinely glad to hear my voice on the other end of the call, ignored my tears, and gave copious amounts of encouragement and a bit of sage advice.  Gosh, I miss them.  I miss V and her unbelievably generous and accepting spirit.  She is the kind of woman I wish I could grow up to be at times. 

But someone wrote a hurtful thing that is untrue and when I ask about it will probably hear that it was harmful.  So I was crying.  Sometimes I call Pizza Man Johnny-on-the-spot, but really it is the two of them who encompass that.  Either he or V or many times the two of them together will be grace and mercy and forgiveness personified.  God did a magnificent work in making them husband and my opinion.

Anyway, my new friend didn't mind that I was crying and hanging up and holding Amos because he needed to go outside.  I beckoned her in and she followed me outside and I wept on the steps while Amos was busy. 

Amos, with whom my beloved realtor has to re-make friends much of the time, took to my new friend immediately and the darned puppy dog was very shortly jumping and leaping with all his might.  I had to tell her he was trying to get into her arms.  She is a cat person and was grateful for the pointer.  Once she bent over a bit, he achieved his goal and spent much of the visit loving on her and snuggling with her. 

Now, she has had some very trying times of late.  Perhaps that is why she did not mind my tears, but mostly I think it is because of the beauty of her heart.  In any case, if I had any doubts about Amos being sent straight from my Good Shepherd or the most amazing puppy on the planet, they were all washed away.  He knew she was in need of great comfort even though she had come to be of comfort to me and set about giving her all she could want.  [Am I insane to be proud of a puppy dog?]  God is the Creator of the universe.  He created Amos.  Could it be that He created him to be a comfort to hurting people?

Could it be?  Did you hear the story of the cat in the nursing home who went to lie with people about to die?  I wonder if Amos is here to give comfort to those who are weary or hurting and need some very soft, very cuddly puppy dog time.  If you live in Fort Wayne and are in need of comfort, let me know and I will have you over.  You don't have to even talk.  I will just plop Amos in your lap after you settle yourself into the GREEN chair (the world's most fashionable and yet comfortable recliner) and go back to reading some Alcott.  Or MacDonald.  Or Stratton-Porter.  Or Montgomery.  Or Austin.

I am such a dense, dense person that my new friend, who has welcomed my photos of my fires, had to wait far longer than I care to admit before I thought to lite a fire, having been out earlier and thus not had one all day.  Yes, I was proudly pleased to light the fire from coals banked 17 hours earlier.  There is this moment when I despair of having to use a match or lighter because all I have is smoke, smoke,  and more smoke.  Then, just when I am ready to give up, whoosh!  The flames spring up and spread across the junk mail or Dr Pepper box I have torn into pieces and placed atop the coals.  I then stick what I term "stringy" logs (ones from the interior of a tree and thus have bits sticking out) criss-crossed by twos, three piles high.  Voila, a fire!

A fire.  Company.  Being accepted as a hermit.  Priceless!

I will say that we did end up talking more than I thought, for I am serious that silent company would be just not be alone...and...yes...oh... my...I got to talk about literacy and explain some teaching techniques.  SIGH.  I miss that...being Dr. Myrtle.  I do hope that some time, some day, I might get back to some of the seminars I used to give, three in particular do I enjoy:  college prep for juniors/seniors (time management, note taking, and dealing with an advisor); found poetry (all grades or teachers); and multicultural literature (teachers).

For now, on a hard day, during which I encountered an additional hurtful thing, my Good Shepherd sent me company and then showed me that even in my distress He could comfort the visitor in this home because He is the one who accomplished good things in this world through many and varied means.

Lord, I believe!  Help my unbelief! 

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