When You Want Your Picket Fence: Kingdom Come
I’ll be writing mostly from coffee shops this year, because home is a dervish, no writing there. These days we cling together and around our heads flies laundry. The towels, out to fold or out to soak wet in the carpet (who knows), instead become like handkerchiefs swinging above head like surrender and sometimes like celebration, like church. We pause after weeks of restlessness to let the room go silent and watch the baby dance to the music in his head. I rarely don’t hear “Mama,” this phase of cutting pears, standing over spelling words, and tying laces at once.
After a week with family for my aunt’s funeral, I’m finally home with my five guys. The other day, after Titus had spent weeks more without growing at all, he grew a half pound. I was expecting to be sent to Mayo Clinic, but instead we were told to celebrate. It’s so funny the longing for normalcy when everything gets thrown off. I’ve begun my lists. Seth and I will begin writing this week like it’s our job, though honestly sometimes I’d rather take up the quietness of bread-baking.
As we read through the Bible together this year, I’m focusing on the term kingdom. My perspective and hope and need for approval is shifting. Things are boiling down. I feel a sharper twinge of temporariness to my clothes, house, and even to my time. Along side that sense of temporariness actually comes joy – even though I’ll never lay these eyes on my aunt again, and my heart is broken about it. When Josie hugged, she would wrap her arms round and settle there until you gave in and let her hold you up a minute. Sometimes she would hold so tightly I could barely breathe. She would say I love you, baby.
It’s all metaphor pointing elsewhere. I struggle, just want the normal so badly, and so discussed this with my Friday morning coffee girls, and one reminded me that Seth and I don’t aim for picket fence, and so that’s not what we’ve got. Something about begging Kingdom Come protects me from and opens me up to the whole wide world and every one in it. We’ll just do what’s next.
Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
We plowed past picket fences a good while back. Kingdom Come.