listening on a back road

one early misty morning in the fall of 2001, i was driving to work. it was a route that at first i dreaded because we’d just moved 20 miles further away, but as time went on, i realized i could use it to think, listen to good music and pray each morning. you, know, get my head on straight before the day had a chance to ware me down. if it wasn’t overcast, the sky would show me brilliant colors as the sun would slowly creep up the horizon.

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i specifically remember one familiar back road as it wound first through the orchard. the sign that read “end of speed limit”. the steep downhill slope and valley. the fields on either side. and on the right about 200 yards in, the tree. a beauty-stricken lonely tree like you’d see in a “purpose driven life” calendar. i remember clearly its warm colors…and later its stark, creepy branches.

well, that early morning i was praying for the people i cared about. probably those i worked with and my family. i just plead with him, “show them your love today. let them feel your love.” and it was like i knew he was listening and he cared, but he cut me off in my habitual prayer and spoke directly to me like a clear voice in my mind, “i love you” he said, “do you not see it? chelan, my daughter, i love you so much.”

…and my prayer just turned to sobbing as i felt my spirit melt. i was steering the wheel, wiping the tears away, as well as my newly applied mascara, i’m sure. and i reveled in the knowledge that i am his child and it’s not always about who i can pray for – what i can get out to him in my 30-minute commute. it’s also about stopping – for even 10 minutes – breathing him in, letting your jaw drop in admiration of nature, opening your arms to him in quietness and to what he has to say, because he has so much to say.

if only i could learn to turn down the noise of the world & of my own agenda.

oh, speak to me like that again. cause now that i know i can hear you, i’m listening.

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