The man

I go to the man’s house on a Monday night. It is a quiet house in a quiet neighborhood and happier people are out walking their dogs and their babies and their husbands. Trees are green and crickets are chirping and the sky is pink and the outside is where I want to stay.

But the front door is where I make my legs move and I could throw up on his welcome mat.

The man is old, and big, and instantly corny. Lord this man is old. He must know things. I rip my hair out, projectile vomit, gnash my teeth and wail a little bit, and step inside the door.

I robotically fill out papers in a room where there are paintings, water colors–and photographs, all serene and calm and my brain feels like a brick clonking around in my head. Already I can’t think. What even is my address?

My body floats into another room, a softly lit room–an old room, with the old man full of old things, beautiful things, and more calm happy paintings and I try to think calm happy thoughts. There is a window that is ginormous and I see all the happier people and I turn to stare at the wall.

I do love the paintings and he notices.

I hope he doesn’t notice the callous on my lip from the past few days or my stubby gnarled man hands with zero fingernails. I pray that he is not looking at me and I am cold but I am sweating and I do not want to be there.

The man is friendly immediately and I want to like him so I do.

Words are said and I look at the brushstrokes visable in the painting to my right. The man is calm but he clearly does not know there is every reason not to be.

More words are said and I scream until my throat explodes.

I hate the room and I hate the chair and I hate my skin but I want to like the man so I stay. I look for words to read on any surface.

How am I even here? I prayed for miracles, God. I prayed for a stronger faith. I prayed for complete healing and I prayed for the opposite of everything I was living, not a more intense version of it. You said you would fight for me, those were your promises, God; you said.

The man focuses his attention on the computer and me. His friendly smile, his silly jokes that take me forever to understand and even longer to laugh at. I am trying.

He asks me questions that don’t seem to matter. He is only mildly interested in my upbringing but wants to know everything there is to know about my biological parents. This is important because I have no idea why.

God make this stop. Make this all go away. Make me happy and make me smart and make me kind and let me just leave the biological parents in the dust where they came from.

And just like that it’s over and all the sudden, I don’t want to leave this nice, old man, or this room full of old things–old radios and do-hickeys and I just want to curl up and not go home. That went too well.

God, why?

The drive back is quiet and I stare and wonder why my genetics have anything to do with this. Clearly they play some part but how? I’m sure there’s some psychological theory I don’t care to know about ever, and I brush the thought out of my head along with a trillion others.

Until I can’t stop thinking about it so my prayer time wanders into “who am I?” mode. Why does it matter where my blood comes from if I was raised in different circumstances?

And I think of Moses, born a Hebrew  and waiting in the rushes on the riverside by the time he was three months old. Not raised a slave, but a prince instead; trained and educated and probably at least a little spoiled. God did not have big plans for Moses as an Egyptian–his design for Moses all along from the moment he was conceived was to become the deliverer of the people of his origins, the Hebrews.

Blood mattered.

Moses’s soul wasn’t tied to who he was around or what he learned while he was growing up. Moses’s soul was tied to God’s very design for him before he set foot in any Egyptian palace, the person God formed him to be in the womb.

Our souls are tender and they are special and they started before we entered this physical world. Experiences teach us, and help prepare us: if Moses hadn’t grown up in the palace–if he had been a slave his entire life–he would never have been able to approach Pharoah and he would never have been able to deliver his people. God designed Moses, and then put him exactly where he needed to be.

But God, I’m not Moses and I’m not delivering anybody and I just want to be home in my bed. Like all the time. This old man? He is wise but he does not possibly  know.

But God says “Sshh. Trust me. I know. And that’s enough.”

And so I stop and I breathe and I pray and I try to trust. My very spirit  is in this place for a purpose.


About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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