We went for a drive on Saturday, just our noisy family in the grey mini-van. Brian drove one-handed, his other arm stretched back into the middle row because our Joseph likes to hold hands with him when we drive. Brian’s arm was numb, Joe was looking out of the finger-print-covered window, wearing his oft-washed Nebraska Cornhuskers football jersey. The sight of Brian’s lined and callused man hands holding Joseph’s meaty, dimpled little boy paw made me feel like God loved me, it felt holy, it spoke to me about the miracle gifts of family and love and human touch, it spoke to me about the hand of God, about God with us, Immanuel. Why is that most of my greatest revelations come here, in the daily stuff of life? The sky was heavy and dark, but we were headed out.
We drove over a bridge, through a rainstorm, the river was spilling over its banks. We drove through the mountains to a small mountain lake, we tossed rocks into the cold water, a bald eagle swung low over the water, swooped up and out and into the tall trees, alone, and I did not envy that beast.
I was bowed low, with gratitude, with humble thanksgiving, with the sense that God was – is – up to something much, much, much bigger than me and my small life, my small words, but somehow there’s an invitation to jump into the story. This has been my year of Fearless, my year of saying YES to the invitations of God, big and small, and I said another YES this week, even though my voice shook a bit, I’ll be honest.
I watched Joseph hold his little sister’s hand as she toddled along the lake edge, his big sister picked wild flowers, Brian stood behind me, we talked about what to make for supper that night, and every once in a while, when I fell silent, he chuckled, he knew exactly what I was really thinking about there at the water’s edge. I was tossing pebbles, rhythmic, one after another, just trying to wrap my mind around this new truth: I have a book deal.