This morning the sky is prophesying and the wind is bending the trees low with the promise of storm. I stand at the window and think of how the earth speaks—how we’ve learned the language of the skies and seas but how we so often miss the plaintive cries of our own language.
Last night he told me everything that is wrong. He spelled out all that is broken with his world and why it can’t be fixed. The more he talked the more hopeless it became and I was silent because, how many times have I said the wrong things? But he knows me well so he finished off with a defensive maneuver.
“And prayer sure isn’t helping.”
The other day—at work—as I leaned over a patient’s bed to help him get more comfortable, the cross that I wear close to my heart slipped out from under my blouse and dangled loose. I saw his eyes fix on that small flash of light and then shift to my face.
“That cross can’t save you, you know,” he said. “Only the cross of Calvary can.”
I lifted my hand and fingered those bits of intersecting metal. My husband gifted me with this necklace on a Mother’s Day a few years ago. It’s the second same one he’s bought for me—the first having been left and lost in a beach house at the Outer Banks years ago. It’s white gold, with one tiny diamond in the middle and one on each tip. His mother wears one exactly like it. I don’t like to take it off for fear of losing it. When I run and pray, I sometimes feel it burning under the thin cloth of my shirt.
“Yes, I know,” I said, looking him in the eye. “But this cross reminds me of that one. Sometimes I need reminded.”
I remember how he closed his mouth tight then, and nodded a curt bob.
Sometimes I need reminded.
I finger the cross that sits close to my heart as I listen about the broken and the why it can’t be fixed. And even though I know this cross can’t save me…it does this time. Because it reminds me of those 400 years of silence from God between the prophet Malachi and John the Baptist’s words of preparation. And I wonder how this much shorter silence is preparing the soil of our hearts.
And because I need reminded—and he does too—that God moves, even in the silence…because sometimes we need reminded…
I take his hands. And we pray.