February 2011

It is Valentine’s Day today.  But because it’s also Monday, my Valentine left at 4:30 this morning, as he does every Monday morning, to head off to work for the week. Boo.

Yes, we have one of those marriages. My husband is a power lineman on a transmission line crew. He travels throughout southern Saskatchewan each week maintaining transmission lines. For the most part he likes his job. He likes the people he does his job with. But it means that he is away from home a lot.

We get lots of questions about our situation. How can you handle it? Isn’t that hard on your marriage? What about your kids? And the short answers are: We have to so we make it work. Yes, but we make it work. We love them so we make it work.

That’s the bottom line in any relationship, isn’t it. You take what you have and you make it work.

Last week we had a rare treat. Lyndon was working on a line near us so he stayed at home for a few nights. I got to make him breakfast in the morning and he got to make me coffee. The boys and I drove out to the job site so that we could see him in action. It was terribly cold and windy, so much so that my camera froze up, but I did get a few pictures.

Here is my husband … at the office.

Brrr. This was the view when we drove in. Lyndon is in the air and the bucket was stuck. They were working on getting it down.

Coming down.

Carter and Dad.

Up in the bucket again.

Getting the job done. It’s still cold.

Lyndon is wearing orange. They were working with live line, which means they were wearing stainless steel garments and gloves. Not the warmest clothing.

Thanks for all your hard work and happy Valentine’s Day Honey! See you on the weekend.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve been reading through Genesis lately. One expression that I’ve read several times in this oh-so-incredible book is … and he was gathered to his people.

This is the expression the author of the book uses when someone dies. It struck me so profoundly that I did a little reading about it. And I think it means exactly what it says. When Abraham died his body was buried, but he was gathered to his people. It sounds a bit like a family reunion.

There is a wonderful woman I know who is close to joining that reunion. It seems that she is about to be gathered to her people. I’ve been thinking about her all day. I know her people here will miss her very much. I think of her husband and children and grandchildren and friends, and I know they are sad and hurting. I am sad with them and for them.

I pray that God will comfort them as He gathers her.

I’ve been reading through Genesis lately. A part of me is reading this as if for the first time and I have to say that every once in awhile I stop and wonder, What in the world was God thinking?

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Genesis story. But I have the advantage of  knowing the big picture. If I was really reading this stuff for the first time I think I’d have some serious questions for God about who he chose as his servants and the mistakes he allowed them to make. Because at first glance these people were not terribly inspiring. In fact, they seem to spend a lot of time trying to make things work out the way they want. (Oh my, that sounds familiar.) And there is some pretty brutal stuff in there about how people treated other people, especially women. And God seems kind of, well, harsh. I mean, the whole flooding-the-world thing. Or Lot’s wife being turned into a pillar of salt. Or asking Abraham to sacrifice his son. Definitely harsh.

God could really use a good PR person, is what I find myself thinking. I want to soften the story, somehow. Make it more … palatable.

But then I realize that this is what makes the story so incredible. Lives are caught up in tragedy, chaos, sadness, uncertainty, bad choices, unfairness, and failure … interspersed with enough pathos and greatness and transformation to inspire hope.

In other words, humanity.

If you are reading the Bible for the first time (or the second or third or …)  and it is making you uncomfortable, hang in there. I would remind you, as I am reminding myself, that Genesis is only the beginning. There is much, much more to come.