Monthly Archives: August 2011

I’m in the Cabinet Phase

I think I am in the cabinet phase.

You know. When you pour the foundation, frame the house, put in the windows -when you get it under roof – this all goes quickly. “Wow, look how fast that house went up!” we say. But no one moves into that house for quite a while because the specialists all have to come. First, there are the detail guys who run the wiring and put in the plumbing. Then comes the painstaking detail, trim work, chair molding, light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, and painting. These craftsmen give the house character and personality.

That’s the phase I’m in: the character phase, orchestrated by the cabinet-maker.

They say Jesus was a carpenter, but I think of him more as a cabinet maker. Not one to saw the boards for general construction, really, but more of a detail man. I can imagine him making sure the door hangs true and the hinges fit snuggly so the cabinet operates as it should.

Yep. I’m in the cabinet phase now. Working on getting that hinge to work as it should. Glad I know a good Carpenter.

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Accidental Running on Purpose

I am not being chauvinistic here but the young woman who set up our beach umbrella today didn’t do such a good job. The wind pulled it right out of the ground, tumbled it upon my four sun-bathing girls and onto a couple sitting in front of us. I jump up and out of my sand chair, cell phone in hand, to grab the umbrella. I extract it from our gracious neighbors and realize, as the wind is whipping it in my hand, that I have no idea what I will now do with it.

“Here, hold the phone,” I tell Olivia. Sasha grabs the umbrella from me. “I’ll go get help,” I tell her.

At once, I am racing across the soft sand. Fifty yards up the beach is the able-bodied young man who works the umbrella stand. My feet dig through and my arms pump. Hurry. The sand is hot. Is it EVER hot! But I am not thinking about the hot sand. Something feels odd…oddly strong. It’s the sensation of running. I am running. Evenly. Strongly. Without thought. I am not supposed to run. Haven’t been released to run yet. I slow.

Nope. Sand is… Ouch…hot. I dash again.

I can run!

***

Now, I’m being a little bit bad but since I can take little quick steps and side to side steps and since I can dash across the sand in an emergency, I am planning to sprinkle a few jogging steps into my long walk this morning. The route brings back so many memories of beach trips gone by. When I left at sunrise each morning and jogged along Route 1 out to the water tower and beyond.

Today I am again that person. The jog-walker. Not limited to mere slow, ambling strides, I can step freely. I test a few paces wondering how far I can stride. If it hurts, I will reduce it to walking. But it doesn’t hurt – not when I stride, not when I land. It doesn’t hurt at all. The sensation is not as it was. I have little feeling in part of my left foot. Wake up, I tell it. It doesn’t listen, but it does what it’s supposed to. It balances and rolls forward and I move along, right and then left. There is a rhythm I remember, an ease, a grace, that every athlete knows.

I turn around just beyond the water tower (of course I took a photo so I could prove I came this far) and head in the direction from which I’ve come. Funny, they have separate lanes painted on the road now (this wasn’t there when we last came to Bethany beach but it’s been a while) – grass side for pedestrians, car side for wheels. On my return trip I see the people approaching me, walking, running and biking. As a walker, everyone went around me. But now I am jogging. I go around them.

Some “real” joggers, runners even maybe, and cyclists pass as they head north. They raise a hand or nod in greeting. This is what we do, we athletes, we acknowledge other members of the club. I am one of the again.

Twenty yards at a time, or until they are beyond me, I am one of them again. I can pass for a runner.

Healing en-fleshed

Today, I walked the roads of Bethany Beach. It’s a place designed for pedestrian/bike activity. An outdoor play ground. I mean, it’s the beach. What better playmate can you have?

There are paths on either side of the roadways that show bicycle directional travel.

Bicycles (may choose to) travel in this direction

Of course, bicycles travel in either direction, regardless of the arrows. So do joggers, walkers, strollers. There are lots of rules on the beach and the boardwalk, but here on the roadway, pretty much anything goes.

I don’t see anyone ahead so my walk turns into agility ladder play. A little side sliding, some quick stepping, some diagonal alternations. And then I think…I could just keep on stepping. Little steps. high knees. All the way to the stop sign. That would almost be like running. Like the old days. The good old days. And so I do. Anyone who saw me would think I just have an overly ambitious and bouncy stride. More upward, than forward. Kind of a waste of energy.

This is okay. I don’t need to conserve energy. I’m not going very far. Just to the stop sign. Then I smile and congratulate myself. No one saw that right? I don’t have permission to “run” yet. But I can. So I do. And it doesn’t hurt. I am grateful.

How incarnational this moment is, this feeling stronger, this balance, this stress and strain, this work of healing. Obedience in the daily diligence. I have partnered in the co-creation of a newly abled body. The diligence itself may have been prayer. If not prayer, then an offering and an answering grace.

God incarnate.

God becoming flesh in me. New flesh.