Dull light hangs over the south side of town. Lazy Anacostia crosses the distance behind the smokestacks, rowhouses, highways, and bell tower. I hardly miss an opportunity to check the river for familiar friends, but I only ever see the still point.
Seated facing the glass, clock near at hand, the workers align. Solitary figures at solitary tables. The early lunch gatherers. Yet today I did not arrive until 2! In hand - a big blue-leather Bible. Today, I start. One chapter from the Law, one from the history, one from the poetry, one from the prophecy, and one from the New Testament. If I keep it up, I'll have read through the whole book within a year! Not much time to digest either the text or lunch today, though, as a late day of work calls me back. The cream cubical and the matching spiders wait for me.
Mind bent over page after page, report after report. People pass behind me as strangers. The sound of the copier rattles to life. Another email alert - another problem. And more than enough sorting, wading, organizing, and sense-making for one day. For a moment, the eye soaks in the color of vintage travel through the window of a small poster.
How I long to sit on the hills, crowned in leafy garlands. Color! Breath of wind! Touch of sun! Test of the step - watch my foot as it sinks down onto the clover and feel their leaves cool, soft, and green between my toes. Wait for the storm as it builds in the west. White magnificence rising in power and darkness. It rushes overhead. The maple leaves hide their faces, upturned, crying as they shake. And it hits. A drop of rain on the arm. Then, the head. Look up into the flat grey above and a drop smacks me in the eye. Ow! And before you feel it, you hear... a rush of whispers. The torrents of rain. Suddenly, they crash! Leap up, run for the back door! And under the shelter of the roof, peek out through the door. The beads tinker against the glass as bells. The wind thrusts them in waves, wiping away my view for a moment. Ah the sound! Clear and fresh.
And as soon as it came, there is a rend. Blue light waves hello from the distant heights. And while the earth is one shadow under dark cloud, bright light glows in the air hovering above. Light without shadow. Everyone in the house darts from window to window looking for the colorful sky bow. When no one is looking, I slide out the door. My feet are eager to dive into the wet, cold grass. Step around the side, is it there?
Ah, how I miss the country. How I miss the art of its nature. Yet I am bound by duty to this cream cubical with its cream spiders. For a time, for a time. The skies that I gaze at through the distant office windows testify of a Maker who is now preparing a home for His people. Foundations of rich colors, wondrously composed elements, and gates of bitter white of jewels. Streets glimmering gold in the light of the glory of God!
"The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life."
Lord, grant me courage to overcome the dread of tomorrow and pour into me, overflowing, the joy of Your Salvation.
Isaiah 40:11, Psalm 27:4, John 14:2, Revelation 22:4, Mark 10:15, John 13:23, 1 Corinthians 1:18