But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3 (NIV)
My friend Vicki is headed off to North Carolina tomorrow. She’ll be gone all summer and into the fall. I’m going to miss her. I got yesterday morning off work (because I attended a meeting the night before until after 10:00 and for once I didn’t mind those stupid arguing people because every minute they fought was one more minute I could go in late the next day). I went over to say good-bye to Vicki and gape in amazement at the piles of stuff she packed to take in her mid sized car. I thought she might have to rent a trailer, but she has a plan to get it all in there. Vicki took me to breakfast at the terminal of her city’s small airport. While we ate, we watched the planes do touch and goes. We could tell when the instructor was flying the plane and when the student took over the controls. It was a bit nerve-wracking to say the least. We got caught up on the activities of our kids. She shared her excitement over her new mountain home and fears that her decorating choices might not live up to her expectations. We talked about the heat, about the Florida summer and the anticipation of cooler mountain temperatures. We swapped pet stories. We wondered about our favorite bloggers and how it seems these days people aren’t posting as much as they used to. Even faithful daily writers have cut back to only two or three days a week, some two or three times a month. We speculated that with the economy, war, environmental disasters, government difficulties on national and local levels, health issues and other concerns people are just preoccupied. Or, as we agreed, there are some things you just can’t talk about in a “public” forum like a blog. But, it is different with a good friend. In Vicki’s skillful way, acquired through years of operating her own psychotherapy practice, she wheedled her way into my head and got me to talking about some things going on in my life. She didn’t tell me what to do. Didn’t offer advice. Just listened and reassured that like the planes coming and going, this too will pass. She’s right. It will. And what doesn’t I’ll learn to deal with. But, one thing that I wish would pass is the oil headed for my oldest son’s adopted home of Pensacola. He has been fishing every moment that he can when not at work because he fears that it may be years before the Gulf will be open for fishing again. He is worried that he may lose his job working at Gulf Islands National Seashore if the park is closed to visitors. He is concerned about the health impacts of the oil and the chemicals used to combat it. The impeding doom lurking just off shore makes my problems piddly in comparison. This too will pass, but some things will take longer to recover from than others.