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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Four Glass Doors

Paper towels sheet off roll as fast as autumn leaves sheet the air in wind storm. I face them. The four glass doors that are the back wall of my house. A new spray bottle of “All-Purpose Cleaning Solution with Vinegar” is in hand. No more spitting on empty. I spray and wipe.

And the same thing is happening outside. Rain and wind. Spray and wipe. Wet weighted leaves sheet off in wind swipe and tree is clear shape. True seen. Old pecan posture and knotted joints. Angled limbs dangle.

And spray bottle dangles from my crooked index finger.

Something holy here. Spitting rain; wiping wind. May I say, holy saliva spits down from heaven’s holy mouth and wind is sheet in God hand and He wipes and wipes til every damp smudge is gone? It’s what I’m thinking.

And it’s happening to me as I watch it.
My eyes are wet again. Tears? Holy saliva? Whatever. Wet leaves are smudgy. Opaque. Dry leaves are scale. The scales fall first. Autumn was crunchy at first. And God hand is wiping and again wiping smudge from my sight.

And I think it fitting that I am barefoot on wood floor hearing God speak to me, "What do you see?" 
I look up and say what the blind man said, “I see men like trees, walking’” (Mark 8:24).
It’s happening. My vision is clearing. It is. I close my eyes, soul windows, and see true for a moment.



Pecan Tree

Then He wipes again and makes me look up. And dare I say I am seeing things, people, situations, life seasons, more clearly? That I am seeing truer even as the eyes in my head are becoming both near and far-sighted? I nod, “Yes,” full of holy.

I don’t have bread in the oven, but I can smell it even over the cleaning solution and saturated paper towels.

It’s what God breath smells like as He speaks Bread of Life word to me. It’s what peace smells like when sorrow is Eucharist. It’s what pisteuo smells like when trust has been broken but so has the Bread. It’s what damp leaves smell like when the bread is mixed with the cup.

When life is swallowed red and water seeps flow out of this side of “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
It’s what Christ’s hand smells like right now covering my eyes and it’s what seeing smells like. And restoration.

I am being restored. I have waited. Waited for more trust. For less anxiety. Because the Truth and my trust are kin.  And I have waited to see true. Because it’s been a long dry autumn and the leaves have held tenacious dry clench.

I have waited for this moment. This spray-bottle-cleaning-solution-and-paper- towels-wadded-around-barefoot holy moment.

And Christ has made me look up a second time. I have to be made to. Because I have trust issues. Because I’m afraid to look up. Because I have preferred blindness and then settled for opaque smudge.

I look up and see my strong German. My Christ-loving man who loves me so much like He does. And I’m seeing him more clear now than I did with young eyes.


I look up and see pecan tree, because he is all pecan tree to me. He is hardwood hero who stood strong even when damaged and when it was too much to want to see.

Hardwood hero whose limbs have trembled. Who has wept holy saliva, too. And God hand is wiping smudge away.

It’s believe, trust and at the same time hope pisteuo. It’s Bread of Life at table of life.

It’s hard and beautiful and dense and transparent and bold and fragile and it hurts and heals and at the same time hopes. It’s wind swipe and wet leaves and changes and faith and the Truth and the Bread.

And it’s Christ making me look up again and again. All the way up this hardwood German. All the way eye to eye. It’s been awhile, this eye to eye. I’m still pisteuo trust shy. But Eucharist filled.

Eye to eye is still tentative, for me. Not for him. No. He cups my face in his hands and, like Christ, makes me look up. I’m looking up from beneath lashes. Eye is lashed. But I am curious about him. This German. Still curious even in our twenty-fifth year of marriage. That’s holy ground, too.


Paper towels litter the floor. I’ll gather them later. I look through window doors. I’m not the best window cleaner.
I turn knobs. All four knobs. And open. Open. Open. Open the doors. Go out just like the blind man went out with Jesus.

And Jesus said, “Don’t go back into the town” (Mark 8:26-paraphrase). To me that means, “Don’t go back to seeing things the way you used to.”

I feel the rain and wind on patio. I feel urge to take my bare feet to stand like that in damp leaves before pecan tree. But I don’t. I don’t need to, because I have come to table.

I’m trying not to go back to seeing things the way I used to. I don’t prefer blindness and am less and less content with opaqueness. And of course. Because Christ’s hand has wiped and I’m seeing truer. It’s happened. And is happening.

I go inside. Toss the paper towels. And wait for my German to come home from work. I want to look up on my own. Eye to eye. Not a lashed look. Not in the cup of his hand.

But because I have washed window doors and wind has swiped and Christ hand has touched eyes.
written by: Carolyn Roehrig

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