A Haines Home Companion: Wrestling in Spring


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We do the whole deal – the Easter baskets with eggs, the decorating, and the sweets. The four boys got new shirts and flip-flops, yes, but there had been long-time mention of Christ and His resurrection here, too. The baskets were nearly surprises. Most of all, isn’t Easter the day that at least one person rubs the wet, green yard into his khakis until they’re ruined? We didn’t just talk about resurrection. We went outside and rolled in it. We’re a family of wrestlers, lovers of the senses, swimmers in dirty bath water. We watch the tulip blades inch up by the day. Soon someone will snatch the bloom and have it watered in a mason jar. We love our Spring.

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We asked them what they wanted for lunch, so of course, we had the traditional meal of spaghetti. I should have known. We hadn’t even decorated eggs until we got home from church. We were full of joy after the sea of beautiful dresses there. We all got to sit together in a crowd that cried out. Seth led worship and got to play Rich Mullins while our friend, Josh, played the hammer dulcimer. Seth had to fight to hold it all together. He stomps his feet when he plays. We’re ready for Jesus to come. Even in all this fullness, we’re ready.

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I began a complete rewrite of my proposal this weekend. I had to change a weak title, and when the title finally came, everything shifted. I had been waiting for that to happen, and it was right on time, too, because our amazing friend had agreed to make a video for me. I really had no idea what I was getting into. My agent is very lovely, and she asked that I make a little video to explain my book to publishers. I agreed, but when I thought about sitting in front of a camera to articulate this dear thing, my throat would close up.

The camera makes me nervous, but our friends Mark and Morgan are so gentle, silly, and relaxing that it made me feel okay to not be okay. When it was over, I felt like myself. We walked through a muddy field for the entire thing. We didn’t try to make it like other videos, which took about a thousand tons of pressure off. Without having seen the footage, I am pleased (yet still with a heaping side of terrified.)

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When I came in the house, I was soaring a little. My day had been blue and sunshine. It’s not cliche. It’s real. The frogs and birds made their alive racket. My feet were wet. Cardinals dotted the yard, lipstick red. The quail’s song is my favorite.

Titus ran to me with kisses. His cheeks are getting full. Do you see how he’s changing? In that cuddle I had to check out his lip, where he had bitten it in a fall on Friday night. I noticed then how it had bubbled up inside and out with infection, and you couldn’t have punched me in the gut any harder.

I’m an emotional thing with a quick tempered foot. Why today? I begged last night harder than ever before, active prayer, that Titus would be well and not have to take the terrible antibiotics. He can lose a pound a day on that stuff. Fear has real teeth.

All the metaphors of resurrection grew wings and left me, but sometimes it’s good to ask God these dramatic questions —  Will You forsake me? — so I can hear Him tell me that He is my dwelling place.

Titus’ infection seems to be better this morning, but I had already worked to release it — all the little ways we bring our darlings to the altar, girded in the No-Matter-Whats that come with an active belief in resurrection.  Sometimes we question our way to a place of belief. Sometimes we feel most loved in the wrestle.

Happy first of Spring, friends! Help me remember all the living metaphors. Which is your favorite metaphor today?

amberhaines
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6 Comments

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply April 1, 2013

Spring is one of my favorite metaphors - and we're not there yet.

We are stuck in Saturday, with all the bleakness and the what-nows and the snow covering the earth where the flowers lay buried.

But it's coming. I see your picture and I read your words and I hear that hammer dulcimer and I know. This is believe. Spring is coming.

kendal
Reply April 1, 2013

the spring, so slow in coming this year, holds me captive, waiting with bated breath at the window. won't the greening come? and i know she will and this promise of new life, cliche to some, is real here.

kendal
Reply April 1, 2013

the spring, so slow in coming this year, holds me captive, waiting with bated breath at the window. won't the greening come? and i know she will and this promise of new life, cliche to some, is real here.

and thanks for the titus pics. i pray for that guy.

Nacole
Reply April 1, 2013

Oh, I see how he's changing, yes. I have prayed for this little man. My favorite metaphor? The sunshine that heralds spring and summer. Or maybe the buds that start to peep out so brave before the sunshine even comes. Love that.

Diana Trautwein
Reply April 2, 2013

The video will be fab - how can it not be? Your baby will be okay - he is so beautiful and those cheeks are filling out nicely. Praying for peace and comfort and space for the good work you're doing, Amber. I love birds, especially humming birds. Did you know there is a tiny one in the Andes who can slow its own heartbeat enough to go into a kind of hibernation during the cold, cold nights. The sun warms it enough to jumpstart that amazing metabolism and off they go, gathering food and pollinating plants. When the local Indians first heard the story of the Resurrection, they immediately connected it to these birds . . .

Melissa
Reply April 3, 2013

fear definitely has real teeth. you have a way with words my friend. praying for your little one:)

love your heart.

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