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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Riding With Micah

"Mama, is that God's hot breath, do you think, blowing in our faces?"

I blew a wisp of hair out of my eyes and wiped away some drops of sweat with the back of my hand. Smiling at Micah, I thought for a moment.

It was seven-thirty in the evening, and my chance to have some quiet time had been foiled when Micah overheard me talking to my husband about taking a bike ride. The baby was asleep, and the evening was cooling down (a bit), so the quiet country roads were calling to me.

"Oh, Mama, can I go with you? Please?"

At my quick, "No, Micah," his face fell, and his neck hung low. I glanced at my husband over the top of Micah's cowlick, and he smiled and tipped his head, giving me a look that said, "Why not?"

And so, there we were; our helmets strapped snugly, exposed skin covered in bug spray, with a half hour to roam the countryside together.

The kildeer shot from their hiding places in the gravel at the sides of the roads and called frantically, flying ahead to distract us from their nests. A deer bounded across the field to our right, and we skidded to a stop to watch it disappear over the hill.

In the midst of all this beauty the smell of cows, warm grass, and fresh growing mint were carried past our noses by a stifling wind.

The breath of God?

It was relentless, carrying the bodies of tiny gnats into our faces, catching in our teeth. It was stifling, letting up only when we turned our faces to catch a cool breath. It was unbearable at times, when the heat of the ground and manure joined the wind and assaulted us, burning our throats and eyes.

I told Micah this story, how Elijah stood in the presence of God. How the Lord sent signs through nature, but He did not inhabit it. How at that precise moment, simply a still, small voice denoted His presence.

"So maybe, Micah, God sent this hot wind. Perhaps He is not in it - but can you hear His voice?"

"Well," he pedaled slower to stay by my side. "Not really. I think it would be easier to hear Him in the shade!"

We laughed together and increased our speed to reach the grove of trees ahead of us.

And sure enough, a cooler breeze awaited.

We listened for a moment, one foot on the ground, resting our forearms on the handlebars. "Yup," Micah affirmed. "I can hear Him now. But you know, I think He was in the hot wind, too. I don't think it's so bad if He's there, too, do you?"

I thought of all the moments in the past few days that had seemed unbearable, how my space was stifling me with all the responsibilities of being a mama, and how relentless God seemed as He sent trials my way to strengthen my quick prayers for patience and energy.

But it didn't seem so bad when I remembered that He inhabits my days, and my heart.

As we traveled the road home which, by the way, happened to blow with a wind more blistering than soothing, we thanked God for both.

It is only the scorching wind that causes us to turn for cool refreshment.

And there He is again.

You are always welcome at my little place - A Path Made Straight

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Blogger Stacey said...

delightfully descriptive. ;)

July 19, 2007 at 12:11 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Beautiful dear one.

July 19, 2007 at 12:32 AM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

Elise...He inhabits my days...

I love this scripture. Thank you for sharing your day and your Micah with me.

July 19, 2007 at 3:10 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I have a lump in my throat....
Thinking about what I would do...say "no" to that little one because I want that alone time...but how much richer it made it with both of you going, and the lessons *both* of you learned. Thanks for the lesson, Elise.

July 19, 2007 at 6:29 AM  
Blogger Tami Boesiger said...

What a beautiful story and thank you for the reminder that God inhabits all our days, good or bad.

July 19, 2007 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Munchkin Land said...

Oh, I just LOVED this! Thank you for sharing. I pray that I can be the kind of mother to bring such spiritual things into every day life like you do. =) You're an inspiration, my friend!

July 19, 2007 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Marci said...

Great blog! I'm a pastor's wife too and am running a contest on my webpage for PW's and for a free copy of my new novel, One Smooth Stone. Stop by and say hi! :)Marci

July 19, 2007 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

You are so talented. Wow! I love the way you bring us into the moment and then share from your life and heart what you've learned so far. Beautiful picture of your time with Micah.

July 19, 2007 at 6:52 PM  
Blogger Ann V.@HolyExperience said...

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.
In scorching wind or cool breezes.
Yes, there He is again: everywhere .

Thank you, Elise...

July 19, 2007 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

as always, a beautiful visual..

thanks elise! :))


July 20, 2007 at 7:37 PM  

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