Fresh snow had fallen at the foot of the mountain and while the grass was clear, the path was covered in a fresh layer of snow. I relished every step as I crunched through the crystal snow. Behind me, workmen scoffed and said, "All the people walk through the grass and she walks through the snow!" But it was much more fun and beautiful to walk this way. Ahead of me, one of my family members starting forming a snowball. What a good idea! I made one, too, and we prepared to launch our snowballs at each other!! Suddenly, the new house owner reappeared, standing just a little ways behind me in the grass. I was so angry that I took my snowball and threw it at her, but it fell short onto the ground.
I continued on, again feeling defeated and frustrated, but my parents persevered, determined to find me a good home, even if it wasn't a mansion on a mountain. As we walked through town, my Mom told me that we were scheduled to check out a small apartment next. An apartment? That's all I can afford? I was disappointed and didn't even want to go, but I dragged myself to the taxi and we made our way through town. The taxi pulled up to a corner with brightly shining lights on the outside of a very tall building, but he turned and continued on toward the end of town. There, down a long, narrow one-way road, was a humble-looking apartment building. As we approached, a man ran out to meet us, very excited that we had come. I was struck by his enthusiasm, because I felt lousy.
There was a scene shift then and the next thing I remember is my family and the apartment owner sitting together on stairs of some sort. They all had glasses in their hands and were tapping them against the stairs and singing me a very happy birthday song. I was touched by their love and excitement. They broke their glasses in a big hurrah at the end of the song to wish me a happy birthday. Then, the apartment owner gave me a certificate, of sorts, which read in Hebrew something to the effect of: "Congratulations on achieving level 2 of Hebrew - minchah"
I woke up crying, not because I was sad, but because I felt happy - and trying to remember what a minchah was...was it a parable? a blessing? I couldn't recall, but I knew that I had heard the word before. Later at work, I looked it up. It's a word that means 'gift' or 'offering' and I recognized it because it's the name of the Jewish afternoon prayer.
Ah! minchah. This is something that's been on my heart lately. Last week, my boss and I had a long, good conversation about Asperger's Syndrome. I listed out some of my strengths and weaknesses as well as some ideas for improvement. My boss was supportive and gave me additional challenges and ideas. I was encouraged but also felt a bit overwhelmed inside. I talked to a brother in Christ about it the next day and he advised me to make each strength/weakness/challenge a prayer point - to lift them up to God through the day as I encounter each one. What a simple, but great, idea! I've been encouraged to commit each of these burdens to God and seek His speedy (whoosh) help throughout the workday from my cubical. I've also desired to spend time with the Lord during more peaceful times. We reveled in the concept of fellowship with God in our Monday Bible study of 1 John 1:1-4 and so I've been happily seeking the Lord in prayer during the evenings this week. This I know is His grace, because I don't know what to pray (Romans 8:26) but He is a "gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm." Jonah 4:2 I've felt stronger this week leaning on the Everlasting Arms. May He incline my heart to Himself more and more, so that I dance with child-like abandon as King David did before His presence (2 Samuel 6).
"From my being hemmed in I called on Yah; he answered and gave me more room." Psalm 118:5 (CJB)