God With Me
I know that God is with me. In my prayer, impatiently, I ask for guidance, for signs, immediate communication. But, the messages are there and I don’t listen well or often enough. I’m sure I miss the Spirit’s whispers. Mostly I feel anxious, incomplete. I accept instability, the unexpected. God gradually leads.
It was my birthday on September 12. The 78th. Try as I might I could not deny it or push it under the table. I did celebrate it with Eva and gave thanks that I had it and prayed for at least one more.
Early on the morning, Eva and I flew a flight few others will ever experience. From 10,500′ the vision of Banff, Lake Louise, Golden, Revelstoke, the mighty mountains, rivers, forests, and glaciers brought to mind Hopkins’:
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. (“God’s Grandeur” (1877).
It was indeed an opportunity to accept graciously that what was happening, was as perfect as it could be: it was very good.
Our plan that evening included a prime rib dinner. Because of Covid, we had to wait outside the restaurant until a table opened up. Although smoky, the evening air was warm, fragrant and pleasant; we chatted and enjoyed what could be one last summer’s evening.
Then came a powerful thud sound that interrupted all conversations. Almost immediately three men burst through the back doors and took off for the front of the restaurant. I followed. The pickup cleared the intersection and smashed headlong into a utility pole.
The Good Samaritans, without prompting, unselfishly rushed to the driver, removed him from the truck and began chest compressions. First Responders and Police came later.
A biker passing through the intersection hurled a stream of hateful invective at the injured man for reasons I find incomprehensible. Sensing that no one paid attention the first time, he circled the block, returning for a second pass. Again, no one acknowledged him.
Later, during a conversation with Walter, he congratulated me (sarcastically, I must add) on my advanced age. He also volunteered to pick us up and bring us home. Before he phoned I knew flying the next day would be impossible; smoke from West Coast wildfires blanketed the route. He saved the day.
I rose at dawn and while Eva slept, walked into the grey daybreak and a sun looking like a very large orange. Walter arrived at noon and we were home for a late supper. The return trip was like driving in a grey tube: no lakes, mountains hidden, muted light.
Part way through the return trip, Eva asked if I had removed my keys from the airplane. I had not. A courteous gentleman at the airport retrieved the keys and sent them by courier.
Days later, Rob sent me a message offering me a seat in his airplane. He was taking Jeff and his Dad to pick up an aircraft – also incapacitated by the smoke. That same day I returned home propelled by a strong tailwind, dodging clouds at 11,500′.
Our adventure grew as I became more observant. I felt awe, suspense, good will, unrequested generosity and a reminder that the opposite exists. The trip overturned my presumptions about how the presence of God shows up in our lives.
At the very least, the messages included there is more good will than bad; the Spirit is working within everything to bring about new growth. Although my observer skills improved, nevertheless the known of the will of God still grows slowly. But there is so much more!