I was home today getting the house ready for visitors arriving from England on Saturday. Paul's Uncle John and cousin Stephen are staying with us for two weeks. It's amazing how many things need to move from one spot to another in a house, in order to be ready for guests.
Stephen has never been here before, in fact he has never been out of England before, so this trip is a big deal. We share a love of nature and photography. He loves chess too, but I can't help him there!
Later in the day I made the humungous shepherd's pie that I didn't have time to make for cell group last night, to be stowed in the freezer for the next arrival of a hungry horde.
Finally, at 7.30, I was done for today, and it was time for a walk.
"A walk?" said Paul, looking over the top of his reading glasses at the clock on the wall, "It's getting dark, you ought to take a flashlight." And he got up and went upstairs, wincing as he went with pain from his sore joints, on a love errand. Beside his bed he had a small but bright flashlight that recharges by pumping its handle. He demonstrated. I thought it sounded like a banshee.
Next I had to recruit a friend to come with me. I stood at the top of the stairs leading to Brenda's apartment and asked her if I could take Molson for a "w-a-l-k." Then I asked him, without spelling the word this time. He was up the stairs in seconds. Before I could open it, his nose was to the crack in the front door; he couldn't wait to be out there.
The evening was sultry and moist, as if it might rain at any moment. Molson trotted politely beside me. He's recently been groomed and the hairs that followed the curve of his head and the edges of his ears, shone silvery in the dusk.
The air was noisy with the song of crickets, cicadas and frogs. The croaking, chirping and buzzing got louder towards the centre of the village, where there is a big park. By then it sounded as if we were in the middle of a Florida swamp.
It was really dark by then so I turned on the flashlight and gave it a few pumps to charge up the battery. Its whirring noise blended well with the insect chorus.
And I wondered, as I walked with my doggy friend, if I would ever walk as eagerly and easily with God as Molson does with me.
I was going to add a Rich Mullins song, Step by Step; but instead I found this beautiful Ashley Cleveland version of the song Rich was writing when he died. The words seem fitting.
It is called, Jesus.