I hunted. Scoured the house and van, all in search of the elusive Underground Abductor- the abolition installment of the historical graphic novel series "Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales," by Nathan Hale*. (Hence the series title.) I visited our library, convinced I had returned it. Bless them for their patience and helpfulness. I called the library that sent the missing novel to our town so that I could kidnap it without a trace. No dice.
Nowhere. No good.
The bustle of Holy Week and Easter company put the search out of mind. A blessing wrapped in the chaos.
And though I felt compelled to write this morning, the gnawing of this task left unfinished would not give me the brain space to focus. I would have to spend the soggy day dismantling my home, and with no guarantee of a successful recovery.
So I prayed. Admittedly, I always feel like these are genie prayers. I rub my magic lamp and make my wish, "Please God, I want to write. I do. But this book won't leave me alone. I have to find it. Please please PLEASE help me, Lord. Help me find this book, which is so insignificant in the big scheme of things."
I prayed it a couple times, maybe 3. By the last time I was embarrassingly desperate. My path of home demolition was set and I wanted nothing more than to pry this book from my conscience. I left my bathroom and headed to the kitchen. As I did, I heard my oldest daughter's voice behind me.
"Hey, Mom. Guess what I found."
I turned to her. A smile wrapped her face, and her hands clasped something behind her back.
"What?" Could this be it? Could it be?
Her right hand shot out from behind her back, holding the treasure. She grinned and held out to me, Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor.
I reached out and grabbed that girl. I hugged her and kissed her face like she had just risen from the grave. She collapsed onto the floor and I kissed her blond head. "I prayed for this! I prayed for this you know! Thank you, God!" She just laughed. Her mom is weird.
And so here I am. I made myself a cup of chamomile tea, honey and lemon. Then promptly soaked my hair in it just in case it is true that this is a natural method to lightening my hair and I don't have to take out a loan for a hair appointment. I sit typing, my shirt reeking of yesterday's sweat, my body unwashed, and my hair smelling of sweet summer, all while it rains drearily outside my office window. (There are benefits to having a job where no one can see or smell you through a screen.)
This life isn't glamorous. I could look at the messes and gripe (I often do) of the incessant cluttering, scattering, ignoring. I could see this morning's discovery as a happy coincidence. After all, could God not have gifted me with the book without my pleas?
Yes. Yes, He could have and might have, but that is not the point.
Prayer, of any and all kinds, is a gift.
It draws us to our knees in humility.
It admits that we cannot do this on our own.
It acknowledges the God-ness and the Goodness of God.
It postures us in the direction of seeing God at work in our lives.
It reminds us of all the reasons we have to be thankful, the most important of which is that if every answer to our prayers from here on out is "no," God has given us "Yes" in Jesus Christ and there is nothing that trumps that. Nothing. Ever.
It may take a while. Like tea steeping and hair soaking, results aren't always immediate, but know this: n
o prayer is too small, no task too insignificant. God wastes nothing, and He cares about the intimate details of your life. Just be prepared for Him to work, mainly in ways unexpected.
He loves you, and so do I. I'm sending you a virtual hug today. It smells better this way.
Now off to find our Dora the Explorer book... pray for me, please.
* In case you are wondering- this book series by Nathan Hale is really cool. The 4th grader read it in a night, and I anticipate the same from my 2nd grader- especially since I gave him only 24 hours to read it so as to get the book out of my house before it evaporates again.