Are you approaching old age? If so, let me be a warning to you.
A couple of days ago I sent off for some knitting wool and a pattern.
I did! Me! Honest!
No, I know! I could hardly believe it either! Was this really me doing this, choosing wool, looking at the picture of a comfy cardigan… and saying “Yep. That’ll fill a few idle hours” ? It’s ages since I tackled a knitting pattern, but I’m going to give it a go. I’ve also agreed to go to a village craft club and I’m finishing my patchwork quilt so maybe I can fill the next however-many -day- months-years with these homely activities. I’m a bit disappointed that it’s come to this, filling the days for the sake of filling the days, but this is my responsibility, no one else’s, so bite the bullet and get on with it. It’s been suggested to me that I could make myself useful in the church by baking cakes… but I’m not a great baker. I can manage muffins but that’s about it, and how often does anyone want my muffins?
That sounds like a euphemism. It isn’t.
Anyway. This morning, waiting for the wool to arrive in the post, I got out a jigsaw puzzle and began to sort out the edge pieces. Oh, my little pals, as my fingers sorted through blue sky and green grass, I knew that this was dire. Just dire. Jigsaw puzzles are great when they’re an escape from a productive life, but they’re no substitute for that life.
So I sat there, looking at the picture on the puzzle box, and I prayed. Not a sweet gentle humble prayer of thanks and serenity, a sort of rambling questioning kinda-argumentative-sorta prayer. Querulous. I mean, I know that God has the answers, the over-view, and I trust Him, I do. I do, (don’t look at me like that, I do!) but I’ve been twiddling my thumbs for five years and……. and….. oooh!
Oooh! A few minutes ago, an email pinged in from a publisher … saying that the idea for my next book is ‘an excellent idea’! Hah! Fancy that! And going on to talk about the possibilities… and it looks like it’s a goer.
That email was the Lone Ranger galloping over the crest of a hilltop to rescue me from this horrible cactus that I’ve been tied to.. it was Captain Kirk beaming me up from the wastes of a disintegrating planet. Hurrah!
As my lovely George would say, raising a whisky to the new book and to answered prayer, even cross (but honest) prayer, “Here’s tae us, wha’s like us? Damn few – an’ they’re a’ deid.’ (Here’s to us, who’s like us? Damn few – and they’re all dead.)
The brain cells still have stuff to do. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for that email and for words, and books and … erm… yep, also for knitting. I think. Even muffins. All that.
The book will be called “Norah” , a study of a woman very like my stepmother. That’s all I know so far. I don’t know which voice it will be written in, or what the beginning or the middle or the end will be. I’m not even sure where I stand as far as the eponymous character is concerned – pity? Fear? Love? All I know is that I want it to glorify God and it’s exciting, and it’s important to me and it has to be truthful through and absolutely through. I don’t know if it will ‘work’. I don’t even know if I can do it. But I’m going to try.
Psalm 90:17 May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.
Oh, boy – that’s my heartfelt prayer right now, this very minute. I do love it when the Bible is written in that immediate, conversational, direct way “Yes, establish the work of our hands” It’s like those lovely verses in Isaiah 43
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?“
I just love that conversational “See” and “Do you not perceive it?” My heart responds – yes I’m looking! And yes, I do perceive it! My God has come galloping over the hilltop, my God is beaming me up from a wasteland. He has rescued me. Again.
Now don’t muck it up, Luce. Stay with Him. Stay focussed. Remember it’s through Him and for Him and with Him.
Because without Him, it’s gonna be a disaster.