i tied ice skates on her feet and the muscles in my back started to cramp up as i hunched and pulled, wrapped around. ice skating. i watch two tall folks lunge forward, like fish out of water, step in off rhythm out to the rink. a pierce of light from the past has me recall that this was the way it was. people skated on ice in the winter time back in the day. it was fun. it was entertaining. but it isn’t old-fashioned at all.
i call god elusive. i’m hearing more when i close the prayer book. when i sit in a chair and i lay my head in my arms on the table and i give up. i hear more. people used to read their bibles by the light of a candle and write sermons that changed the world. they used to read the word of god and no dust settled on the tops of its thin pages on their shelves. but that isn’t old-fashioned at all.
their father takes them out on the ice one at a time. i’m too nervous, unsure of my ability to keep myself upright, let alone them. when the baby totters out with her real daddy, as she calls him, i start lacing up the boy. mazzy is beside herself with joy. she stares out the makeshift window and lets me know that she can see them. she can see them skating.
what does jesus mean when he says, “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and i will give you rest.”? the message puts it this way, “i won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.” i imagine that god is different than he is. but there in the bible, sometimes in red, are the words the same as they always have been and will be, revealing quite another kind of god.
the real one.
words not for a time gone by. there for my life right now. they speak to me in this minute and reassure me that god is for me and not against me. that he wants the men who fashioned the blades and set the first feet in dangerous shoes and slid out on the ice; he wants their risk. they laughed with the air of a winter night in their lungs and felt god glad with them and their good thought to do such a thing.
then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. that’s the calling on my life. those are the plans god has for me. shining like a star while i hold firm to these good words in this good, good book. a light in the dark winter night gliding by like the blazing of a good god.