The Waiting Room
Tuesday, December 12
Jean Dancy Jones, RPC member since September 2013
But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day. - Deuteronomy 4:20 (ESV)
I have a skillet. It doesn't look like much, a cast iron skillet blackened and crusted. It was my great-grandmother's, and she cooked with it on her wood burning stove. When Big Mama died, my mom got the skillet, and it lived in our house until my parents broke up housekeeping a few years ago. I made sure my cabinet had room to keep it.
We used to take it camping with us, because we could set the skillet directly on the fire. It would sometimes sit in the freezer, next week's dinner waiting. We cooked everything from fried fish to spaghetti sauce, burgers to cornbread, in that skillet. It has survived the extremes of temperature and the bottom of the cabinet with all the other pots stacked on top. Still, it carries on with its purpose, never weakening with the use and abuse.
In 2015, life was a hurricane of joy and sorrow. Literally from January to July, I endured the passing of a former neighbor and close family friend; passing of my only uncle; accepted offer on a house we purchased; final slide and passing of my father after his battle with dementia; planning for his final disposition; closing on our house purchase; packing up our belongings; hosting out-of-town family and friends for Dad's funeral; first Father's Day without Dad; moving to our hew house. Oh, and I work full time. By the Fourth of July weekend, I wanted to hibernate. Literally.
I felt like that iron skillet after sizzling the breakfast bacon then straight into frying the chicken without turning off the heat. How was I supposed to have time to process anything if the next thing kept happening? Alone in my room late in the afternoon, I sat in the middle of the bed, an island amidst boxes and clothes and sheets. Silently, the world overwhelmed me, and tears started flowing down my cheeks. I didn't even have the energy to sob. I closed my eyes and the world went... not dark. White. I saw white in every direction.
In that lonely moment, I felt God's love envelop me and ease my heart. And not as if He had just arrived, but was always there, just reminding me. I took a deep breath. The tears slowed. I could say I was deep in prayer when that happened. I wasn't. I was just tired and sad and relieved and didn't want to do anything. But in that vulnerability, the Lord rushed in.
I opened my eyes and stared straight ahead, unseeing of my surroundings, but watching the mist of my mind clear. I thought of dinner and Big Mama's skillet. Then, it all came together. A watery smile started in my heart and spread across my face. I feel like that skillet because that's what I am. Strong, able to withstand intense pressure, needed for so many different things. No matter the heat, no matter the cold, no matter what. Then I did pray.
Lord, thank you for always being there, for leading me to the light even when I feel the darkest. Help me stand strong in your faith and share with others the many gifts you give me. Amen.
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