The holiday that matters is over and I am a happy camper with temperatures in the tolerable zone. Every day with no snow is a gift. If I participated in winter sports I’d surely feel differently, but since I have a serious aversion to the cold, I don’t do winter anything. Heavy coats, boots, sweaters that make me too hot, a chilly house, bah humbug. All conspire to make me irritable.
I do like to sleep cool. Crack a window, turn down the heat, bury myself in the down comforter topped with a faux fur that traps body heat. It is enough. I don’t mind my cold nose as I dream of spring, knowing the current warm temps are an indulgence of grace. I just know God loves granting simple gifts, like He cares about my little idiosyncrasies. Well. Since I guess a lot of things about God, I can indulge in this idea that while He holds the stars in place, holds back the sea, feeds the birds and tends the flowers, He knows my name. Because Matron said so.
I do know this to be true, or at least have enough evidence to construe that thought. While he took my father home, He provided a superior orphanage that taught scripture and prayer to little kids in a highly definitive way, an orphanage known to exist by my mother, a nonbeliever all her life. She wanted spirit teaching for her children. Just in case. Mama died without benefit of clergy, her choice since she suspected them of some form of witchery. What could they do by her bedside that had any meaning for her?
Mama never did anything to divert me from the faith teachings I learned as a wee bairn, a four year old desperado craving something grounding. Something called God, in huge dollops. Little did I know His instruments of mercy and grace resided in someone called Matron, warmed to her calling and exercising it thoroughly in a place called The Home for Friendless Children. So I could recite huge sections of the Bible without pause, whole chapters of the Psalms on command. Funny. They stuck for a long time, but as I aged the comforting verses were replaced by the idioms and panaceas of the day or the hour as needed.
Unbidden, those verses would surface of their own volition, like flowers that bloom for a day, wilt and die back into the earth, used up to encourage, or comfort, or command me in time of need. They were, and are, like tools I didn’t know I had, held in the rusty box of memory until needed. Now, as they prompt me to that place where my soul resides, when I am confused, or damaged, hurt and wounded, or frightened out of my wits with worry and despair, or struck with awe at incredible sunsets and thrilling….not too strong a word….sunrises, I know the presence of the Master. I sense the Creator, who, according to Matron, knows my name.
“Lift up your heads, O ye gates and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors. The King of Glory will come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord, mighty in battle, He is the King of Glory!”
“Wither thou goest I will go. Wither thou lodgest I will lodge. Thy people will be my people and thy God my God.”
“Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
“Take my yoke upon you for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
“Whosoever believeth in me shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
Some door opens in my mind and these verses pour out randomly, apparently depending on my need. I have long since stopped questioning this mechanism buried in the soil of my being, to bloom when watered either with my tears or by some holy response to the call I don’t realize I make. Matron tilled the soil of a child’s mind and planted seeds there every day of my time with her.
Her voice rings in my head today: “He knows every hair on your little blonde head!”
And my heart sings.