Saturday, October 25, 2014

For Stress and Beauty

I'd been taking aspirin for a week. The headache never leaving, only waxing between mild and intense flashes of pain. By the Saturday morning I couldn't keep my eyes open.

"I think I need a blood test." I told Ben. A persistent and increasing headache is one of the first signs of Malaria.

The three of us loaded onto the scooter and headed to the pharmacy. Thirty minutes later I held a negative blood test in my hands. Not malaria, thank God. A second test showed high white blood cells indicating some kind of infection. "Show it to your doctor." The nurse told me.

As we loaded back onto the scooter, my headache easing again, we spotted her. She stopped us in our tracks, this black and white beauty. More the size of a small bird than a butterfly, her delicate velvet wings beating to her own rhythm. 

On the way home we stopped to pick up our new motorcycle from a friend's shop. Feeling quite a bit better, I drove the scooter and Isaiah the familiar short distance home while Ben took the motorcycle. My son's small arms wrapped around my sides, we headed off.

The bumpy road home is all gravel and red dirt. I drive slow, putting my feet down at the slippery parts. I know this road, where the smoothest parts are, where the gravel is loose and the back tire slips.

Rounding the familiar bend the scooter starts to speed up. I pull hard on the front and back breaks, but can't stop. On the slippery gravel I start to loose control and unable to slow the scooter down we hit a large rock. The scooter falls to the right and we fall with it.

Our friend had been driving behind us and saw everything. He jumped out of his truck and lifted the scooter off of my leg. Isaiah stood behind me crying, but unhurt. A small patch of grass on the side of the road had cushioned his fall.

Isaiah rode home in the truck and I drove the scooter. I hadn't noticed my bloody knee until I stopped the scooter in front of Ben and said with shaking voice, "We fell off. I couldn't stop. The accelerator is sticking. Isaiah is ok. He's in the truck."

At home Ben poured me a glass of Sprite and ordered, "You need to sit down and drink." He checked Isaiah over and hugged him, listening and answering questions of what happened. I cleaned and covered my scraped up knee. The cuts were long, but not too deep. Still shaking and sipping my drink, I closed my eyes and whispered a prayer of thanks. We were ok.

A few hours later our long time friend arrives to stay for the week. We haven't seen him in twelve years, but he still wears the same infectious smile. We will finish language school and move home in just 10 days. Our friend arrives in the midst of chaos, but with him peace and laughter arrive too.

And that's just it. The velvet black and white beauty soothing my persistent headache. Grass grown long before on the side of the road in just the right place to catch and cushion my son's fall. Friendship that brings joy even after a decade apart.

This is nothing new. Life here, life back in our old home. Stress is real and intense, but so is beauty and God's goodness. Not as small pinpricks of light shining through darkness, but as the brightest light of hope forcefully pushing back the dark and filling and freeing our hearts and minds.

  "And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise."   
Romans 5:2 The Message

Pushing back the dark

This post is a link up to Velvet Ashes where others are discussing beauty this week.


  1. So glad you added your voice to Velvet Ashes

    1. I love how you tied your story together with gratitude of God's provision for you through beauty, protection, and friendship!

  2. Wow, I so needed to hear that!! I was beginning to believe it would be pinpricks all the way, but maybe you are right, and the light is more forceful than I thought... Still missing you guys and praying for God to help you always! Thanks and keep writing.