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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson

Mercy in the Midst

Baby Nash wears his Daddy's old snowsuit, and all I can see is Baby Grant!

Well, the adventure continues.

Last Sunday, I was with my husband, on our way back from Papa and Mimi’s, returning our baby grandson to his other Grands. Our oldest son and his family are living, temporarily, with his wife’s parents, and they’d driven to Iowa for the weekend. Three full days we enjoyed snuggles at our place, with our little Nash.

So Sunday. We’d taken the babe for a road trip to visit our youngest collegiate, just over an hour away. We wondered about the wisdom, wondered how a ten-month-old would handle a nap in the car, and a lingering lunch. No worries. He was precious.

Early evening we kissed that scrumptious little neck one last time, and said our good-byes. Sitting in the Ruf's driveway, we debated. We had an errand to run, just a bit off our route, to the northeast, or to the south. We chose north. Minutes from our destination, Kyle’s cell phone rang. It was his mom, on speaker. Where are you? Highway 65, heading your way. I’ve fallen, and I can’t move my leg…

We were there in a flash. Later, reflecting on the Divine orchestration, of the where and when and events of the day.

This wasn’t what we expected, but it wasn’t unforeseen, either. We’ve worried, often, about the possibly of falling, Mom’s dragging foot, a newly replaced knee. Now this. A fractured hip. (I am happy to say, she is now post-surgery, heading for rehab, and doing great.)

But I pause my story to say it. Aging is a cruel, heartless beast.

And yet. God’s mercy in the midst of the details.

We built this Red Oak house with parents in mine. Two master suites, one up, one down. Almost identical, but for a few minor finishes. And I’ll admit, I snuck a few favorites into the second story, thinking guest room for now, but one day, maybe mine.

This week the upstairs suite is Pop’s. We set up a card table, with a 300 piece puzzle. (He can still do 1000, but admits they’re not fun.) A wingback chair faces the window, two-stories up, overlooking the lake. The first evening God did as we hoped, putting on a dazzling sunset display. And we’re thinking, it’s working. Dad’s love of nature, our grove of aspens, wispy white pine. Not to mention, magnificent eagles soaring by.

While Pop enjoys his sunny window, I imagine the changes we’d need to make. A dresser for the upstairs closet. A dining room hutch, for extra dishes. Beds and bedrooms. But…surely I’m getting ahead of myself.

This morning I pray for a bit more time. Not for my sake. (I made my own surrender Sunday night, instead of sleeping.) But for Grammy...

Mom loves her home. Loves her kitchen. Loves throwing parties (even illegal, during Covid). In our own wisdom; our own understanding; it would seem we could ALL use a little more time.

Of course, His Timing is different. This morning, I read in a devotional book, about chronos and kairos. Our time, and God’s. And how we live in both. We live in the here and now of all things urgent. An emergency call. A hospital stay. And we live in the mystery of time eternal. God in our history, God in our future, God in today.

Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

…all the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be.*

He is in our moments, and He is in our story, the weaving together of our timeless days.

Red Oak Retreat. We debated the name, wondering if it would seem too distant. Too off-the-grid. But we needn’t worry. It seems as though God has found us here. Our home shall forever be full of people. Babies and families. Parents and neighbors. Friends and strangers—and whomever else. Whenever He chooses to kairos here.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

*Psalm 139:7, 16, 9-12

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