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Leaning On My StringPosted Saturday, June 9, 2012, at 9:49 AM
The washing machine was agitating and she needed to add these towels to it before it ran out of time. Rushing through the kitchen her bare foot felt something wet and mushy under it. Yuck!--a hairball from the cat! As she cleaned up the mess and her foot, she headed on to the laundry room, deposited her towels and took a deep breath.
She was so tired, having only slept a few hours the night before and she desperately needed a nap while the baby was down. Through the monitor she could hear her peacefully sleeping child, occasionally disturbed by a cough. Knowing her precious one was better; she tossed a quick "thank you" toward God. Taking the monitor with her she went to the computer and sat down to check her email before school let out and the older children arrived home.
He email box was filled. About half were junk mail that she quickly sorted and trashed. Working her way through the rest she found out that her aunt with cancer had her latest test results. There was new growth. The tumors were spreading. As she breathed a prayer her phone rang. Her son had a problem at the school that needed her immediate attention.
She gently moved the baby into the car seat as they headed for the school. She thought her heart had stopped when she rounded the corner and saw the ambulance sitting at the curb. "Oh, dear God, help me" she thought as she parked, took the baby (carrier and all) and hurried into the school. Her son was sitting on the gurney with his leg splinted, swathed in ice. The EMT assured her that the break appeared to be clean and should be able to be set and then heal properly.
As she followed the ambulance to the hospital, she could feel the panic and bile filling her. With the baby sleeping peacefully, she reached for her cell phone to call her husband. He answered on the second ring and she quickly filled him in. She asked if he could call the babysitter to come get the baby until she could get them all home. He did and soon a young woman from their church arrived. She quickly took the baby, still sleeping in the car carrier, and assured her that she could stay however long was needed. Suzie also told her not to worry about the other two, that she would meet their bus, tend to homework and feed them. With a quick hug goodbye, a kiss for the baby, and a thank you she again breathed a prayer, thanking God for the blessings of faithful friends.
Later that evening she and her husband were talking. She reached out and took his hand, breathing a prayer of thanksgiving for a loving partner to share her burdens and blessings with. As they talked, catching up on all that transpired throughout the day he asked her how she remained so calm.
"Easy," she said, "every time I felt overwhelmed I just leaned back on my string."
"Leaned on your string?" he asked. "What do you mean?"
"Well, one day when the kids and I were watching a marionette show I noticed the strings that lifted the doll's feet, hands, and arms. Every time I thought the puppet would fall, the puppeteer would lift a string and the puppet was fully supported again. I like to think that God is like that puppet master. I have lots of string so that I move as I want, but when I'm about to fall, God pulls on my string and supports me until I'm on my feet again. That's what prayer is to me--the strings. All I have to do is make sure that my prayers are lifted to God. They are what connect me to God."
So, the moral of this story is: When life's circumstances are about to beat you down, just remember to "lean on your string." That way God is in charge and you can always get the strength you need for the moment just by leaning on your string.
God, thank you be being our support during bad times--and good. You are always there, waiting for us to lean on you. So be it. Amen.
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Rayla Stewart Hogue is a native of Dexter. She is a wife, mother, and minister of the UCC (United Church of Christ). She seeks to recognize and embrace the unending hues of God's ethne and religion, and commits herself to living and expressing this inclusive diversity through Sacrament and the spoken, written, and sung Word of God.