It took me longer than usual to come into my prayer closet this morning. I had seven bags to stack on the front walkway for the Salvation Army to pick up. Seven bags of blessings! Seven bags!
This husband of mine, the Canadian-born Bavarian? He's a polo shirt and shorts kinda guy. All year. Except when he must wear a suit, but thanks to his new career the full business suits stay on the hangers.
"Oh, sw-e-e-et heart," I call from his closet just all sugar with a feather duster in hand. "Can you come here a moment?"
I hear him come from the next room and the melodramatic in me strikes a pose I Love Lucy would be proud of.
He peers into the closet and I begin dusting the shoulders of his suits with flourish. I sorta hope he sneezes.
He just looks at me.
I move to the next suit. The passive- aggressive in me waits for him to say something.
But the next day I hear him from across the house. He's singing in the closet.
He doesn't sing in the closet, I think to myself.
But then, I answer myself, I don't dust suits.
And something else-what is that other sound?
The man's been working out. His arms look to be about the size of the dumbbells he pumps, the polo shirts look to have shrunk and the shorts to have grown, or something.
Once I folded and stacked the polo shirts he's had hanging in his closet for, I don't, fifteen years? I did it again recently. Thing is, he's never been keen to cull his clothes. To him, if it was good fifteen years ago, it's good as new. To me, it's all a jumble of relics any thrift store 'round about these part would be thrilled to have.
I decide not to interrupt his singing and whatever else he's doing. What is that sound? I wonder a second time.
I sip my morning coffee. Text my mother. Load the dishwasher. Start the washing machine-and he bounds into the laundry room grinning like a goof, "I have a surprise for you."
"Really?" I love surprises.
He takes my hand and leads me toward the closet at the far end of the bathroom. "Careful there," He steers me around about seven bags of clothes stacked between me and the closet.
He preempts what he knows I want to ask, "What's this, you ask?"
I nod, silent.
"I organized my closet." He folds his barbell-ish arms and rocks back on his heels about as nonchalant as I was with the feather duster.
"Mm-hmm," I try to keep from whooping a ya-hoo, "Is this your closet then?"
"Mm-hmm," He teases; and I do a little jig right there because this is a beautiful moment.
The Salvation Army truck came this morning, and I can hardly wait for some unemployed man to try on one of the suits bouncing across town just now in the back of the truck. This man, he'll look in the mirror and stand a little taller in one of my husband's suits, and like that he'll go to a job interview.
In the meantime, here in my prayer closet? Mr. Salvation Army Himself is opening what I'm calling bags of blessings before I can open the Bible. It sounds like this-phone chirps every few minutes.
Bag #1: A friend I haven't heard from in a couple years sends me a thinking of you message.
Blessing: We schedule right here and now to meet for coffee next week.
Bag #2: A woman from Missouri contacts me about one of my LilBit Books-n-Boutique handmade journal. She wants to donate it in exchange for some good reviews.
Blessing: Well, someone found my shop and wants to order a journal!
Bag #3: I discover that I misread the time of my appointment today.
Blessing: There are more bags and I have the time to see what's in them. And, seems there's a theme happening here in my prayer closet this morning-something about donating blessings.
Bags #4 and #5: Two more friends text me, "Are you free to visit next week?"
Bag #6: "Can you come by to visit today, and maybe bring some soup?" She can't get out of bed by herself and has been craving her favorite soup for two week!
"Lord! Six Bags!?" I'm making a mental ingredient list for potato-leek soup.
"Seven," He responds.
Bag #7: Some man is going to go to a job interview, shoulders squared in one of my husband's suits.
Blessing: Donating seven bags.
"Now that's a truck load!" It is.
I sense His Spirit waiting with an unspoken, "And?"
"And, Lord," I know what follows. Blessing from blessing, that's what. "And, it's more blessed to give than to receive-to donate, too."
Isn't this wonderful?
Wonderful that one item from seven bags, one suit in a thrift store, might hang from the discouraged shoulders of a man-and square them?
Wonderful to be led by my grinning Bridegroom to this prayer closet and then discover why He's grinning wide as my husband grinned when he led me around the bags on the bathroom floor? I wonder if my Lord began grinning right about then because maybe He put my husband up to this as a hint at what was to come. Maybe.
To me, this is big potatoes!
I wash the potatoes and leeks.
Cube the potatoes and, guess what? Math happens in my kitchen. Two potatoes, cubed to the second power = a pot of soup. One pot of soup divided by two = blessing on blessing multiplied by blessing.
Isn't this wonderful!
Well, at the moment, I'm certain I haven't cubed enough potatoes in my life; and that I've missed some blessings before in my prayer closet. I've probably even tripped over them-tripped over blessings. It's what happens when I'm more aware of my prayers than of God's presence.
Today I'm going to cube potatoes, divide a pot of soup, pack it into my truck and deliver a bag of blessing.
I'm going to package a journal and tuck a note into it:
the Dreams you dream
the Thoughts you think
the Plans you plan
the Journeys you take-
And then I'm going to bounce along Main Street to the post office.
Seven bags of blessings, two cubed potatoes, a pick-up truck and my grinning God?
written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig