A RAINDROP IN THE STORM (Linda’s Talk with God)
Linda usually wakes up before I do. The first thing she does is have a little quiet time with God. After she did that this morning, she made coffee. There was a cup on my bedside table when I woke up. She was propped up on pillows on her side, sipping her coffee and reading.
As my fuzziness started to lift, I asked her what she’d talked about with God this morning. I know that’s a personal question, but we allow each other a few of those.
She thought about it for a while and said, “I usually pray for Him to watch over you and our family and our loved ones…”
“… Do you… like… picture him?”
She didn’t have to think about it. “No, but when I talk to Him, I think of Him first as a personal friend … Well…” She corrects herself. “…more like a father who is a good…”
“Why a father instead of —?”
“— Instead of a mother? I don’t know … my old Catholic training. So anyway … He’s a really good father who loves you and listens to you, and anything you want Him to do, He’ll do. I start off by thanking Him. I say, ‘Thank You for all the blessings You’ve given me.’ I thank Him for you and our beautiful home and our friends and our health and all that. Or sometimes I’ll just say a general thank you for everything. And then I usually follow with, ‘Help me be a good person today, to do the right things; help me know what’s the right thing to do and give me guidance.’ And then … like today, this morning, I said, ‘Bless Rick and me, and keep us safe and healthy and strong because we have a lot of good work to do. And also keep our family, our loved ones, safe and healthy—our immediate family, our distant family, and all of our friends … and everybody we know, and the people we don’t know, and every living thing … on the earth.” She smiled, aware she was asking a lot.
Most of the spiritual writers we read say, in effect, that making a request of God is like taking a container to the ocean and dipping up as much water as you want. You can take a teacup or you can take a bucket. Linda and I are convinced we are robbing no one of any good thing by asking for a bucketful instead of holding out a teacup. Or a teaspoon.
She went on with her prayer, “Uh… I know that’s a big job and You probably can’t make every living thing on earth perfectly happy and safe and healthy and strong because that would be too weird; people would freak out probably. So just … do what You can.’”
“If He does what He can,” I said, a little smart-alecky, “we wouldn’t have any more problems, would we?”
She answered me in the same spirit I asked the question: “Yes, but that’s not the way it works.” She explained to me like she might to a child: “And it’s got to be according to the law. You can’t just magically wish for something and have it appear. It has to follow some kind of law.”
“How does that work?”
She sighed and went on, partly humoring me, but also saying it out loud for her own clarity of mind. “It works by cause and effect. Some people call it karma but it’s basically cause-and-effect. Something causes something to happen and then something happens. And what causes things to happen is the mind.” She said again, slowly: “The … Mind. And everybody has use of the Mastermind—if you’d like to call it that. There’s one big mind that everybody dips into and draws from. So whatever you think eventually finds its way out there…” With one finger she indicated what could be a far-off distance. “… then comes back to you. If you think negatively, negative things come back to you. If you think positive things, positive things come back to you … But everything has to follow the law… I don’t mean the law like police law. I mean like the laws of nature … the law of electricity, the law of gravity, those kinds of natural laws. And the Law of Mind is a natural law too—but most people don’t seem to realize it.” She frowns … “Anyway, whatever you think, whether you put it into words, and say it out loud verbally, or just … you know, feel it in your mind, it goes out there and it starts to … FORM. And then it works its way back to you. So … that was my prayer this morning—that everyone should be safe and happy and healthy. And strong. And have water to drink and a sheltered place to live in, work to do … A happy life. And everyone getting along and helping each other. I know it’s utopian. But eventually maybe something like that will happen.”
She sighed again. “Of course you have to factor in that even though we were made by God and are a part of Him, we’d have to be insane to think we can understand why He does things the way He does them. It would be like a raindrop in a storm trying to figure out why there’s a storm.”
At that moment I knew she’d given me enough of the answer to get me through the day:
I am a raindrop in a storm trying to figure out why it’s raining. What I should probably do, is make sure I’ve got my bucket handy, do my best, and wait for the storm to pass.
I used to have a temper—not often—but once in a while. I don’t have that problem anymore … okay, a touch. Mostly, I date the change for the better to meeting Linda. I’ve been with her for over forty years now. The protagonist in my new novel used to have a hot temper too, until he met Samantha. In the story of Hello, Rest of My Life, he loses her.” From that point on, all he wants is to get her back.
I’ve never based a character so much on Linda before. Samantha is based on Linda. She even says a couple of things Linda has said. I wonder if Linda will want anything for that. I’ll probably have to give her some of the royalties. Women, huh?