I remember the day, a hot, sweltering, Carolina afternoon, not unlike the scorching summer days we are experiencing now. Maybe that's why I'm recalling that time a few years ago. I walked over to our mailbox. I could feel the heat soak into my hands when I opened the box. I didn't even look through the collection of envelopes--probably only junk mail and bills. I spied a neon-yellow card in the middle of the stack. I wasn't curious--coupons, most likely, for fast food. Later that night, I sat eating dinner alone, my husband out of town. I absentmindedly picked up the envelopes and began to shuffle through them. Buried inside the quotidian array, I found a postcard from my husband. He has a lovely, vintage practice of buying postcards, writing a few lines and mailing them to me when he's away visiting his family in Europe. The photo on the card captured a scene of people sitting on benches around a fountain, a faultless blue sky overhead. My husband wrote on the back of the postcard, "We should be here together." I ran my fingertips over the ink he used to pen the words, the handwriting as familiar to me as my own breath. How could a postcard, something so small, so elemental bring such comfort?
I think because we crave to be known. In the sometimes harrowing pace that life foists upon us, we long to know that someone wants to share our company, that we have been singled out by someone else.
I believe God sends us postcards too. I felt the literal suffocating heat here in the Lowcountry this week, as well as the "heat" of life--whorls of stress at the work place. I wanted to escape both. I felt uncertainty about my future creeping into my thoughts, like a fever rising. Then yesterday, as I sat in my study, I heard a rush of wind, then rivulets of water began streaming down the windowpane, a rainstorm arriving as unexpectedly as the gleaming postcard. Tears streamed down my face as well. I thought of the concept of God collecting my tears--thought of Him using one of those vials that holds tears--lachrymatories. The rain went on and on. I imagined lifting my face to its cleansing reprieve. Imagined my pores absorbing the cool water. "Soaked to the bone," as the saying goes. Touched and comforted by the One who knows me, the One who singles me out, the One who says, "We should be here together today."
Your're as real to me as Bedrock beneath my feet,
Like a Castle on a cliff, my forever firm Fortress,
My Mountain of hiding, my Pathway of escape, My Tower of rescue where no one can reach me,
My secret Strength and Shield around me,
You are Salvation's Ray of Brightness
Shining on the hillside.~Psalm 18:2 (The Passion)