When they found a long line of ants trailing from the outdoor trashcan, they called the exterminator so he could sterilize the place clean. Never mind that someone should have taken out the trash before it rotted. Sometimes something can scare us so much we gut the entire project and it takes out the good with the bad. We can level entire mountains if we’re not careful. Instead of clearing obstacles from our vision, we lose the mountaintop from which we can see farthest.
And when I got home yesterday (9/16) and found a flurry of ants in my indoor houseplant, I wanted to run away screaming. Maybe the urgency with which I removed the ants from my home is the same urgency with which to remove sin from my life. I had noticed wandering ants in the house in days prior, but shelved it in the back of my mind when I was unable to find the cause. Sometimes we notice signs that something is wrong, but we don’t act on it until it is overflowing something ugly from our insides.
My favorite chapter so far of Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle is Chapter 6, Keeping the Clock Wound. She wonders about freedom as a gift, and why we fallible humans are given it when we don’t make the best choices. The consequence of our fallen choices, physical and spiritual poverty, moral bankruptcy, lack and want and need, is everywhere. Our life on earth is the biggest joke, that we can run, laugh, play, and extend a hand of compassion, share a home, tug at the light so the darkness doesn’t overcome us, but sometimes, a lot of the times, if we’re honest, we just want these stones to be turned into bread (104).
As long as anybody cares, it may be possible for something to be done about it; there are still choices open to us; all doors are not closed. As long as anybody cares it is an icon of God’s caring, and we know that the light is stronger than the dark.
For all the cynicism and negativity, light is the radical thing in a dark world. So we use our God-given ability and free will to choose; we choose, every moment of this blessed life. What we offer up as a sacrifice of praise is returned to us in unexpected miraculous ways.
My ideal job would be a children’s book illustrator and author, if skill and money were not of concern. It would blend my passion for honesty and innocence, while being able to shape the current reality. To write I would reach back into the memories of time and bring forth treasures that illuminate. To draw I would harness the gushing waves of creativity and pour a steady stream onto the page. My words would speak plainly with warmth and love, the story would be at once new but recognizable for the young reader. Really, all breath is story and “what [my] free will is meant to do is to help God to write the story” (Walking on Water, Madeleine L’Engle).
There is a rabbit, or a bunny, if you prefer, that lives around the driveway entrance to our complex. More than once I’ve caught him hopping out of the way of danger as I drive by. I don’t see him on the asphalt but he lands in the wood chips and mulch just as I pass by, and because bunnies have greater peripheral vision than we humans do, it seems he’s glancing backwards with a wry smile. But he’s a cute bunny and I hope he always lands in the wood chips and mulch.