I mentioned that our arrival at the homestead in the mountains landed just before sunset.
We had enough time to unload before darkness draped heavy like a cozy, cotton quilt.
We ate dinner and did a little prep work for the next day.
Then we prepared to head to bed in anticipation of the wonderful weekend to come.
Just before all movement paused for the night ..
just before we all turned in ….
we lost power.
This home is well over a hundred years old. Some re-wiring has been done on the house,
but there is no denying that she’s beautifully antiquated.
As Jayne began to check breakers to find the culprit of the loss of electricity, she defended this time-honored dwelling.
*SNAP SNAP SNAP* One at a time, she flipped breakers off and on.
“We have had as many as seventeen people here.”
*SNAP SNAP SNAP*
“I just don’t understand why the four of us would trip a breaker,” she reasoned aloud.
After methodically working her way down each side of the breaker box, power was still out.
Jayne was becoming frustrated.
I followed her from the indoor breaker box
to the outdoor fuse box,
holding the flashlight as she worked.
This photo was taken during the day, but I have to admit that I trembled just a bit as I stood holding a flashlight in the darkness on that wooden porch, angled as they were in those days … that rain might always flow away from the dwelling. My friend appeared quite comfortable unscrewing those fuses …. much closer to raw, strong voltage than I ever personally want to be. I have a very staunch respect for electricity, hand guns and horses. I stood there convinced that Jayne was much more comfortable than I would ever be in her situation.
And her puzzlement continued … as did agitation.
Jayne was calm … but running out of answers to the question,
“What do I do next?”
when I remembered a voice from two nights before.
I go to a wonderful support group at a small church that focuses their ministry on the strengthening of relationships and the healing of wounded souls. A sweet story was told on Tuesday night. Our facilitator has shared repeatedly about the burden that she has for her brother. He has lived a life medicating himself with alcohol and drugs. She has spent many sleepless nights crying out for God to save him …. heal him …. break the bonds of addictions.
Recently, this brother was in a terrible accident that has left him paralyzed. He is unable to speak or move at this time. Truly, it is too early in the story to know how long and winding the road ahead will be.
This sister has rejoiced that God has gotten the attention of the brother …
and sobbed that the pain is so great.
She is thankful that he is being forced to physically let go of his addictions
but broken-hearted that such a tragic event has happened in his life.
Do you see the conundrum? Can you feel the wide pendulum swing?
In the ups and downs of the emotional roller coaster she’s riding ….
in her own personal crying out to God ….
she knew He was comforting her. She felt a peace that she should not worry or fear.
She heard God’s still, small voice whisper within her spirit, “You can’t see the whole picture.”
That was it!
Jayne was using all her knowledge and past experience to figure out how to
repair this problem …. how to restore the loss … to mend the brokenness ….
to reinstate the flow of power….
but we couldn’t see the whole picture!
I suggested, “Jayne, maybe we aren’t the only ones out of power?
Maybe the problem isn’t just here in this house.”
She walked to the front porch to search for lights in the homes that were nearby.
She saw some lights … but not at every house.
She made phone calls.
She found … that there were family members that lived just up the hill
or across the way
who were also in darkness.
After a visit from a cousin, Jayne was told that a tree had fallen on a power line. The power company was working on the problem and there was nothing to be done but wait. Maybe by morning, the problem would be solved. Before long, everybody was in bed resting.
I tell you, hearing that parable twice in one week has been a good thing for this weary heart.
I hear the spiritual/physical parallel.
We can’t see the whole picture. We can only see our limited perspective. We cross paths with many lives. We don’t know history. We can’t understand pains. We don’t know what events are being used in the lives of those around us to orchestrate changes that will come. We don’t fully understand the here and now …. we certainly can’t know what is around the bend. We simply can.not see the w.h.o.l.e picture.
There is no reason to fear or become irritated.
Fear will not help the situation. Becoming irritated wastes our energy.
There is One who knows and sees the whole picture.
Yes, we should do what we can in every situation to help in whatever way we are knowledgeable or gifted.
But, there comes a time when we need to step back and realize that we can’t see the whole picture,
we can’t solve the problem
and we should just rest and wait for the morning.