I used to have a postcard hanging in my kitchen which said Be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet. Whenever my husband came in and got irritated with the fact that I had forgotten to put the oven on to cook his dinner, or forgotten to pick his car up from the garage, I would smile and point to the card and it seemed to defuse the situation. He’d throw his eyes up to Heaven as if he was praying and I knew he was saying to God, “you don’t have to live with her.”
But the card disappeared. I searched the house but I never found it. I accused him of lighting the fire with my little card but to this day he denies it. What brought this card to mind is that I hope God is still on my side, but I can’t be sure.
My friend and I went on a retreat last weekend— to get away from the world, to get in touch with our spiritual side, our inner self/selves. We wanted to write, to search for inspiration, insight into body, soul and spirit. The kids were upset.
“What will we tell our friends?” they asked. “Our father is in France and our mother is in a monastery.”
It wasn’t a monastery but they wouldn’t believe me. I think they are prone to exaggeration at times.
My friend and I arrived at our destination on time for lunch, our bags packed with little food and no luxuries. We drank green tea and abandoned the chocolate. After our meagre lunch we set off to walk through the barrenness of the landscape, to remind ourselves of the emptiness of our lives. We sat by a lake and wrote of flowers and birds and blue dragon flies and listened to the rumbling sounds of thunder in the distance . And then the rain came and washed thoughts of writing away as the big drops blotted out every word of wisdom the wilderness had spoken to us.
But suddenly, out of the blue we found a hut for shelter. God had not forgotten us.
We sat quietly and pondered the questions – What does my body want? What does my spirit want?”
We had travelled so far to find these answers to life.
We wrote for ten minutes. Finally I said to my friend,
“What are you feeling?”
“Hungry,” she replied.
“Is that all you wrote?” I asked.
“I can’t’ think when I’m hungry,” she replied.
“Me neither,” I said.
“So what does your soul need?” she asked.
A soft bed and warmth,” I said.
“This is an amazing place,” my friend said, as we packed up the car. We’re only here two hours and already we know what we need in body and spirit. I hope they won’t mind us checking out so soon,”
“Of course not.” I said. “We’ve found what we’re looking for.”
“But have we really?” she asked, feeling a little guilty.
“No, but we will in a minute when I Google the nearest spa.”
“Do you think God will forgive us,” she asked me later as we relaxed in the Sauna.
“I’m sure He will. He has boundless patience and forgiveness. I’m just not sure about my husband when he finds the credit card bill”