Thursday, February 25, 2016

Power Outage

It was fun at first.

We had good reason to believe it would happen, too.

Dire warnings brought our attention to the impending storm, and the clouds did not disappoint.
Thick, wet, heavy, and unrelenting, the snow has been pouring down and weighing everything full.
Trees droop, shrubs bend low, and dried summer stalks bend to the earth.

In an instant, right between a goodnight kiss and a pat on the bottom to send our youngest farm chick off to bed, we were plunged into darkness.

Although we did not know the moment the darkness would come, we were not unprepared.
Just days earlier Weekend Farmer Husband had received a brand new flashlight and batteries are fresh.
Fueled and ready, our generator stood in place, waiting to serve.
The box of emergency candles and matches is easily accessible.
And, which of us hasn't used the flashlight function on our iPhones a million times before?
There was no shortage of light and life giving power.

But, we were without the total comforts and the crutches to which we have become accustomed.
Not all the lights could be used, the television, iHomes, wireless connection, and the many luxuries of our first world life were temporarily halted.

How long was it an adventure? A fun, candle-light, temporary, forced withholding?
Not long, I'm afraid.
I think it was maybe 15 minutes before my older children in particular were looking for movies on their laptop hard drives.
The adventure and the adrenaline quickly faded, and the mild complaining and self soothing behaviors set in.

This morning, the snow still weighs heavy, but power was restored in the night.
We're back to normal and all systems are literally humming away.

It got me thinking.
I knew when I entered into the observance of Lent that there would be times like this.  Times of testing and quiet and even darkness.  I prepared as much as I could by surrounding myself with friends, accountability partners, good books, good sleep, good times of prayer and scripture reading.
But when the lights went out and stayed out for awhile I was soon more vulnerable than I'd like.

Depression and lethargy demanded attention and quite certainly slowed me.
Frustration and lack of patience made an appearance.
Fuzzy thinking, lack of purpose, you name it- it all came calling.

And all the accountability, good books, good sleep, and good prayer "haven't helped".
I am not walking in darkness, but I am walking in repentance.
Sometimes God's kindness helps us walk longer in places than we are accustomed, and without all our comforts, so that when the morning comes, restoration is all that more powerful and complete.

So, I wait.
I'm not in the dark literally or spiritually.
I know this is a light and temporary suffering, and it's of my own choosing!

And, even though I was "prepared", I'm certainly not in any position to help myself.

Today's Lenten reading was in part from the Psalms.
On the fragile page, marked by years of reading and marking, the 28th Psalm reminded me to turn to the Lord for mercy, help, and refuge.

The storm will pass.
Snow which has been threatening is lovely.
And I will not be in the dark for long.

"Blessed be the Lord!
for he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.

The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever."

Psalm 28:6-9

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