By The Hearth

It turned out just as I anticipated. I’ve been looking forward to canning on the cookstove for years. The idea that I could cook the apples and water bath the sauce filled jars at the same time on one surface over one wood fire using no LP or electricity makes me feel triumphant. 

October, already. I built a fire in the stove and set the screen in. The warmth is immediate this way, which is appreciated on our wet, grey morning. We’re burning spruce and poplar right now. The leather rug on the hearth at my feet catches the snapping, flying sparks coming through the screen. I’m waiting for my coffee. Otherwise it’s quiet.

Quiet, except for the birds. We started feeding the birds soon after we moved in. I had no idea how soon or how many birds would find us. Ground feeders: white throated sparrows, tiny bibs tucked neatly under their chins, white crowned sparrows with smooth grey breasts all fluffed fat and now also juncos, and the feeder birds: finches, jays, nuthatches and, of course, the chickadees all talking and eating and fighting. I am entranced, almost guiltily worried that I should be working or doing something profitable, then I remember that even God sees the sparrows. I figure if God thinks it’s ok to watch birds; then it must be fine for me to spend a few minutes at it, too.

Reading the book of John again, mornings. It’s new and fresh again since last time, because life has been lived, and experiences of difficult relationships, and depression and hard stuff has happened. Thinking about the four-times-remarried Samaritan woman by the well that Jesus said he must needs go through Samaria for. Her confusion is more understandable to me now. When she stated that when the Messiah comes, then He will explain everything and Jesus replied to her, “That’s me.” I was/am so excited and blessed. I’m with her when she says to her world, “Come see this Man who told me all things that ever I did.” This says so much about what Jesus wants to do for every woman in the world no matter what we’ve done, no matter how confused we are. He is not bothered by cultural expectations: not to be seen with this woman, much less a Samaritan person, plus talking with her, of all things.

I’m reveling in the fact that Jesus does explain everything in the end and that we girls matter to Him now and for eternity. So the other week when I finally took advise to heart and made the simple change of getting my meds adjusted, the sun came out again, and I’m thanking Jesus for sitting at the well with me.

He fed hungry people, and healed a lame man, and made the blind to see. The miracles He does now … The one He did for me is no less amazing and glorious.

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