In my hurry to get ready this morning, I neglected to put on my wedding ring. "15 minutes," he said. "Can you be ready in 15 minutes?" I am still dripping wet from the shower. Typically, my husband has the luxury of not working on the weekends, but today, he was asked to do an early morning broadcast from an art event down on the lake. I had asked to go with him, but he discouraged me, saying that he would be busy the whole time, and I probably wouldn't see much of him.
I frantically got dressed, pulling a shirt from the dirty clothes hamper, and put a bit of makeup on, but as he pulled into the driveway, I noticed the ants. The daily rain has turned our house into an ark of sorts for a host of ants. They come up through the vents and creep aimlessly throughout the living room, and I just had to get the bug spray, because what good wife has an entire colony of ants roaming around her living room?
I ran out the door, hair still wet, and oblivious to the fact that my left ring finger remained naked. And for the entire day, he and I were completely out of synch. We argued and said hurtful things to each other, and if I get really honest, it was my bad attitude that sparked the blaze.
Because the hustle and bustle of life creeps in, and as many things went wrong as there were ants bumping into one another in my living room today. Some days, it just happens this way. There's an invasion of bad and hurtful and everything wrong. I was quick to become frustrated and anxious. Quick to call attention to every little grievance. Slow to show support or kindness. Fueled by fear of whatever terrible event came next.
At the end of a busy day, we crossed the threshold with my body exhausted from being physically and emotionally tense.
"I'm sorry I didn't listen," he said softly. "I'm so sorry for being so frustrated," I wept into his shoulder.
I asked quietly if I could wash his feet, and if we could wash each other's feet at the end of all our bad days, because I know there will be more days like this, when all the bad seems to close in. We're in this for a life time.
He said some days, we won't want to, and I reminded him that that's exactly why we need to. I need to be reminded that grace can still reach me when I'm at the end of my rope.
Of course when we are only looking for what's falling down around us (and what could fall down next,) our fear and self sufficiency tells us we must build our own sanctuary. A house on built on the sand quickly succumbs to the weather.
Its hard to choose to love and be loved, to serve and be vulnerable, when the safe place you attempted to build with your own hands has been pulled out from under you.
But that's the grace of it all. That's what makes us more like Christ, even at the end of a day like this. Because we can never yell louder than the whisper of the Holy Spirit, who invites us to the safest place. Its constant, even in the storm.