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Day 52: Look at the Moon

I’ve mentioned that I was flu tested. The results of that terrible experience were conclusive: I did not have the flu. The virus I did have coursed through my sick bloodstream, wreaking havoc and playing peek-a-boo with my immune system for five days.

It drained my reserves down pretty low. My body felt broken. My hope was waning. I remember Wednesday morning Amazewife asked how I was feeling when I woke up. She punctuated her question with a smile, for the fourth day in a row. The children were hanging off of her like parasitic apes. They were at volume level 10. Even the baby was going Godzilla on our room.

I felt my lip quiver and didn’t answer her right away.

The sicknesses subsided later that Wednesday. Friday was my first day back to deliveries. I got to job #1 and things went well. My coworker was helpful and we were in good shape, but I still felt overwhelmed. There were things that needed to be done. I needed to deliver pizzas, so I scheduled time Saturday while Meredith was at Boys Town and left.

I was three quarters of the way to the pizza restaurant. I took off my beanie and started to pray. I thanked Him for a lot of things. I told Him how drained I felt. Then, for some reason, I asked to be more grateful.

I grimaced. But the words had already flown.

“I know,” I began again, “that asking for more gratitude usually means trouble. You’ll take things away or make things a bit harder to try your children into gratitude. But whatever it takes, I’ll do my best,” I said.

Deliveries were steady. I was not. I wobbled on occasion. I had to take it slow and remind myself to take one step at a time.

Night fell. I got a call to deliver out to Little Provo. That’s the name I’ve given Village Green due to the sheer quantity of Mormons that live there. Nice guy. Cute little daughter. Texas driver’s license. He had paid with a card. I took my clipboard from him after he signed, gave him his food and wished him a good evening.

I checked the receipt on my way to the car. He had tipped.

“Thanks bud,” I whispered. I continued my slow steps. Then I had a thought. Why am I thanking him? He’s in his house and can’t hear me.

So, I raised my eyes to the sky.

“Thank you,” I said.

Thank you, I thought again.

The moon was bright. There was no cloud cover over me. I remember thinking how surprised I was that the moon was up there.

Then, there was a flood. In the split second it took me to glance up, I thought about the moon up there so bright. Then another thought pushed its way in. God was up there.

The instant that I reminded myself of that fact, something came over me. It was like God peeled back the sky, and whispered, “You’re right, you know.”

Then He put a hand on something. It was my heart. Or my mind. Maybe it was my feverish capillaries just below the tear glands. Or maybe he put His hand on my burdens. I don’t know. But I knew He was there.

Then, at that moment, I knew gratitude. The warmest, most tender feelings of gratitude flooded my heart and mind. It lifted my spirits. It pushed out so many other things. I remember having a Pepsi in the car. All desires to drink it left. All I wanted was water. And to smile. That sensation filled me to the top and pushed out my toxic self-images.

“I’m going to write this down!” I said to myself. I wanted to record it in the digital tables of the internet and the fleshy tables of my heart. I told myself I would use it to remember the feeling, so that I could use gratitude to help me be a better man.

My point is, life is hard. Getting out of debt is hard. Being human is hard. Being God’s kid is hard. Don’t you think? It’s hard. And He doesn’t take it easy on us. Not always. Friday night was an exception I will cherish. In His way, He told me that this one was on Him. He just handed me gratitude and let me take it easy.

He lives, y’all. He owns us. He owns everything. Money is His. We’re just stewards. Our kids are His. We’re just stewards. The Moon is His. And the Earth is His footstool. But I’ll never forget how He opened up that moon to my view, and took care of me, just another delivery driver in a crazy, fat country weighed down under bone-crushing debt. And it was intense.

ROE INTENSE

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