I know why the sound of a vacuum cleaner soothes a fussy infant.
Today, as I sucked up the dirt of our life, the world ebbed away and there was nothing but me, alone in the womb of my thoughts. I was erasing the filth, “mucking it out” as my horse friends say, spurred on by the threat of a visit from my mother which served to anger my husband because he was doing the taxes and felt dissatisfied with life today and so was looking for a reason to be angry when my mother called and announced a rather spur of the moment visit because she would be “in the neighborhood”.
There was this anxiety, coupled with that of the impending visit; which is getting better, but still is always filled with trepidation.
But I wasn’t really alone in that womb, because the umbilical cord that ties me to God never ceases to sustain, never ceases to pump that life-giving essence into me. And His voice was inside of my head. The steady hum of the vacuum cleansing the atmosphere of competing noise.
How can I do this, God? My heart cried. You want me to be grateful. Yes, yes, I am. But I cannot carry the joy for this entire family. I cannot be the bank that they all come to for regular withdrawals. Sometimes I feel so tired. Today I am tired.
I felt His hand on my back, caressing my cheek. Kissing away the tears. With each stroke of my vacuum, He stroked away the pain.
Remember, he whispered in my ear. Yes. Last night, as I prayed with the boys, we prayed for our friends and family who do not know Jesus. We prayed for them by name, as we often do. People we love with all of our hearts. People we want with us in eternity. It seems so hard to find the words that they will hear, Lord, I prayed from my heart. But You can do anything, God. Look what you have done with our Daddy, I heard my voice say. Just two short years ago he didn’t believe. And now it’s hard to remember when he did not come to church with us.
The quiet of the prayer was broken by Teddy’s exclamation. “I know!” He said, as if he couldn’t help himself. The amazement in his voice a testament to the miracle that has occurred in my husband’s heart. A testament to how that miracle has changed my boys.
As my mind wandered over the past two years, my tears of gratitude flowed. As the dirt disappeared on my kitchen floor, my burden was wiped clean.
With me, all things are possible, I heard Him say.
And I believed it.