“This is the day the LORD hath made…”
I always try to remember these words as I pry my eyes open and stretch for one last time before our “girls” (better known to the world at large as “dogs”) notice movement and start bouncing around my side of the bed. They are adorable as they really do bounce and shove each other out of the way as I try to put my feet on floor. Their joy is contagious and suddenly – the words that follow sing deep within my soul.
“I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Ps 118:24
Today was the “perfect” Fall day.
Not too cold.
Grands running up the porch ramp for fresh-off-the-grill buttermilk waffles while the adults munched on eggs, mushrooms and sausage.
Drawing Halloween pictures.
Reading scary stories.
Sitting by the gas logs while turning our brains to mush over a wooden puzzle that has stumped many a HMS student in its previous incarnation. Simple stuff that fills the treasure chest with more golden memories.
“Barach Hashem, Adonai. Hear O’ Isreal, the LORD our God is one…”
All too soon, the daughter and family are out the door. Chores are started, and I let my mind drift to he wonder of the rest of the day. Stretching on the inversion board. Hauling 4 wheel barrow-filled loads of mulch. Throwing sticks for the “girls”. Listening to the new neighbors enjoy their own gathering with a few fireworks. Finding a box of pans that I packed 5 years ago. Laughing as Kittie-kittie (formally known as Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle) rolls in the leaves as she tries – at the same time – to trap them with her paws. A perfect Fall day.
“…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…” Mk 12:29/Deut 6:5
Since I’ve retired, the Shema has become a constant in my day. As I go about my morning routines. As I wait in lines. As I walk our neighborhood. As I catalog books. As I read the news about violence erupting in our nation again. As I listen to our pastor speak about principalities and tightening our belt of truth. As I pray at five o’clock for our nation and what lies ahead. It is a Fall Day – full of perfect and…….not so perfect things.
“…And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mk 12:30
As I begin my last set of prayers tonight. I always begin with my own version of the Shema – for the umpteenth time of the day. It reminds me that these are the commandments that Jesus held close to His heart as he walked among His lost sheep. Principles that guided His life. Principles that He shared with us. Love God with a whole heart, soul, mind, strength. Love every neighbor – regardless of how “not-perfect” they are. Love.
In our divided world, we stand at the base of the cross casting lots for a philosophical robe that will slip through our fingers without true understanding of the fingers that wove it or the One who wore it. We forget the Shema of Love that should guide our lives with every word we speak and every deed we set out to accomplish. We are not perfect. The world is not perfect. And yet – we can love perfectly because He first loved us.
Love seems to be the word that was whispered to me today. Perfect Love on a perhaps – not so perfect Fall day.