Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Puddle Fish

She's like a child who stirs a puddle of rain water and then wonders why it's not clear anymore. 

"Well, that's just what happens when stuff of the earth," I grab a handful damp earth, "is stirred into pure rain water."

Child eyes. They look straight into mine. 

"I lean toward her till our noses touch and laugh, "Do you see your reflection in my eyes?"

She presses her nose to mine, giggles all little girl, and that's the answer I get. "Throw it!"

"I don't throw dirt," I act very grown up.

We turn our attention back to the puddle and I wonder if she saw her reflection in it before she stirred it. "Let's watch the water."

She picks up her stirring stick, but I say, "Wait. Look closely."

I have no idea what she thinks she's looking for. Maybe puddle fish. 

This child, she's hopeful. Curious what she might see in the water. She thinks that she'll see what's there if she stirs it up a little. 

I've thought the same thing before. Many times. 

Not while looking into rain puddles. 

I'm very grown up. 

I know there's no such thing as puddle fish.

I don't spend afternoons stirring up the earth at the bottom of rain puddles.

Or do I? Oh, not like that. Not damp earthen matter in rain puddles. But other matters in other places. 

We all do it. We dabble here, dip there, stir up some ripples, make a splash, until we hear something that sounds like, "Wait. Look closely." This is when we get to see what happens when we stop stirring things up. We get to see matters settle. And more, we get to see reflection if we wait long enough.

This is when matters of mind and emotion-soul matters as we know them in a murky world-settle till the things of earth grow strangely dim. This is also when best intentions and goals we have for ourselves and loved ones, settle down and wait. 

It's uncomfortable, isn't it? Sometimes? Uncomfortable to wait while matters settle? It's okay to feel it and not fix it.

Wait. Look closely here in the presence of Jesus. Look for your reflection as one pursuing the face of God to find yourself. 

Somehow matters settle when we hand over our spoons, sticks, fingers, words, thoughts-souls

Sometimes I stop stirring because I get tired and, beside that, whether it's a puddle a pan or a pothole, too much stirring makes mud, gloppy gravy, or skid marks.

But wait while it settles and you might have a perfect cobbler.

As far as I know, the only reason for us to stir at all is given in Hebrews 10:24, "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works." 


The previous verses tell us how, and it's not by looking closely at others while we consider. Do this and, for all the issues with terms known by the nearest behavioral therapist, you might as well be looking for puddle fish. 

But "enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus," and "draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkles from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:19-24).

We may look closely and begin to see the reflection of who we are in the cleansing blood of Jesus-the pure water as we know Him in the Holiest. 

Well, I don't pack a purse of stirring spoons. Can't say I know anyone who does, but who needs that when we have one or all of our fingers? Or voice? Or thoughts and feelings-heart and soul

What do I pack in my heart and soul? 

What ingredients do I stir? 

The makings for mud cakes? Gluey gravy? Pothole pies?

What am I waiting for? 

Puddle fish or a gorgeous fruit cobble? You know, a jigger of joy and gentleness, liters of love and longsuffering, kilos of kindness stirred together in a pan full of peace, and topped with a generous serving of self-control? 

Yes, please!

written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig