It has been unbearably hot.
I move more slowly on days like this--the energy seeming to drain from my body like air from a leaky balloon.
But now it's evening and our last visitor has gone home after cell group.
I should focus on tidying up the dishes--emptying one load from the dishwasher and filling it again--but something draws me instead, to open the side door from our large living room and step out onto the back small wooden deck and steps.
I lower myself onto a step and it creaks as I sit. Drinking in the sights and sounds of the evening I think of the word "gloaming"--it seems to describe this pink, blue twilight; dusk. The old middle English word is made for the between time--no longer day but not quite night--a magic time-- lit tonight by the half moon hanging like a distant lamp in the sky.
The maple tree sighs, "Shhhhhhhh," and shakes her leaves at me--a dog barks in the distance. Birds twitter sporadically and a passing car breaks into the world of natural sound--rushing somewhere. I breath in the fresh air and glance back towards the door leading to the house.
The room I'd just been tidying is lit and looks cosy from outside. Although empty now, two books lie on a golden leather hassock--evidence of recent activity.
One of the books--Soul Talk--by Larry Crabb--had been our topic of discussion tonight.
I think of what Susan said when she read from the fly leaf. She'd referenced the question I'd asked in yesterday's blog post. "What should mark us as his?"
Susan said, "This is the answer," and she read:
"The clearest evidence that we know our Father and love Jesus and hear the Spirit is...the way we relate to others."
"Think of it: If we knew how to speak into each other's soul--if we sensed the Spirit's rhythm leading us into our conversations and relationships in a life-giving, intimate way--parents could reach their troubled teens. Husbands and wives could see dead marriages revived. Small group members chould sustain one another..."
Yes, we all decided--we long for this "Soul Talk." We want to learn about it and become skilled in it. We agreed that we would all start "Soul Talk Journals," and be intentional about noticing--being aware of--our interactions.
We plan to share our journals with each other. Stay tuned!