Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Mercy of Moonlight

During five full days without electricity (and thus without water from our well) after widespread windstorms in Pennsylvania and Ohio, we have lived a bit of an adventure. A commiserating friend suggested that at least we will have a lower electricity bill this month. But I think there's more good than that to come out of the week.

It was good to slow down and just "wait" at times. I had several periods of that during the week--like at first when we thought the power would be back within hours, or after I'd gotten all the perishing food dealt with and had only to wait until it was time to drive to town to make a dinner. And then I could get through a good chunk of Bible study or math with a son, or set a sparrow free that a daughter had rescued as a fledgling two months ago, or read a light novel myself, or have a long talk with another daughter about *The City of God.*

It was good to have offers of help that I know were sincere, and only a few of which we could take advantage of, though it's a little chilling when some people ask how you're doing and have a too-bright smile on, as if they're eager to hear of your discomforts.

It was good to enjoy a shower when I got one the first, third, and fourth days, and to do the dishes with small trickles of water from a pitcher and from a kettle the fourth day. It was good to enjoy the scrambled eggs my husband insisted on making for us on the propane ring the fifth day.

It was good to bask on the porch--front or back--and just enjoy the sunshine and breezes; we marveled at the wind storm the first night, too, until some of the gusts showed their frightening power.

It was good to share the church kitchen with others without power, and to create pleasant, orderly meals out of the chaos of thawing and cooking. It was good to create a vat of chicken and sausage gumbo to be frozen in batches for the future.

It was good to enjoy the smell of matches and candles and to live "pioneer evenings" thinking about Lincoln reading in such an atmosphere (I waited to try to read until Thursday when we borrowed a kerosene lantern).

It was good to get a toilet flushed with the aid of a five-gallon bucket of water. It was good to keep ice in a cooler and to serve two children chilled pudding cups with the last of a can of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg the fifth day.

It was good to give people the opportunity to share and offer hospitality and equipment, as those who did did it with such ease and good will and cheerfulness--one called me on the phone the fifth day to pester me to bring over my laundry!

It was good to have so much of the world around us electrified, so that we could drive a few miles to campus to use computers or some of us to shower and shave, and so that others COULD offer us help.

When I got word last evening that the power was restored, it was good to share the news with one who had lived the same sort of week and to have a spontaneous hug of celebration.

It was good to know the graciousness of God in the midst of inconvenience (for that was all it was for us, really): We had ideal weather for such a week--sunshine and temperatures ranging from the 40s to the 70s, and what I came to think of as His gracious timing in a full moon all week--the Mercy of Moonlight.

Moonlight made it easier to navigate in a pitch-black house at night, to fumble to the candle or flashlight. Moonlight cheered our arrival at home each evening for bed (after we'd whiled away some darkness in the realm of electricity). Moonlight spared us the fear that might have otherwise closed in, gently reminding us of the goodness of our God and showing us that nighttime is just the same as day, only seemingly less in our control--it is all in His control.

Moonlight revealed much in its tender, comforting way. Did you notice it?


TheChickadeefeeder said...

Very very nice. My feelings EXACTLY!

Renee said...

Who knew we'd be fellow hurricane victims - so many miles apart?

Beautiful post!

L said...

I did also rejoice over the moonlight! What a sweet gift the Lord gave us during those dark nights in the country. Thanks for sharing your blog post with me, Cindy. - Laura