Saturday, March 04, 2006

Waiting With Elijah

I’m feeling a lot like Elijah these days, though he hasn’t always been the Biblical character I relate with the most. In fact, I generally feel a kinship to Peter and the uncontrollable desire to say the wrong things—especially after I just got something right.

But these days, I’m more like Elijah—I’m in the waiting mode.

Not a fun mode, I have to tell you. And this mode applies to many areas of my life—both collective and personal.

As you may or may not know, our wonderful valley, in the midst of what should be the best season of the year, is knee deep in drought. One hundred thirty seven days, to be exact. Oh, sure, we experienced a wee bit of spittle a couple days ago, but as our weathermen explained, if it doesn’t get the cup at the end of the runway at Sky Harbor Airport wet, we haven’t had measurable rain.

So we wait.

And then there is that Postal Service snafu which is playing havoc with my time and temperament. How long does it take a priority package to arrive from Arkansas? Well, it’s been a week and a half and we still don’t know.

I have work related waiting issues. I have medical related waiting issues. I have spiritual related waiting issues. In fact, I am just now getting over no Internet waiting issues—that’s why I can now update my blog.

I don’t remember praying for patience.

So, like Elijah, I wait.

Only, unlike Elijah, have no one to send to check my PO Box for that little fist of a cloud, er, I mean priority package. So day after day, I faithfully look. I think I’d be happy for junk mail. Or a cloud burst. Or unexpected dark chocolate (I know, it always comes back to chocolate).

One good thing came of this, though. I had time to read two wonderful novels. And in reading them, I realized I was hungry, ravenous even, for good fiction. My appetite was sated with both these books.

The first is actually the third in the Ahab’s Legacy Series by Louise Gouge. I’ve had the pleasure to learn from her--in a cyber class and in person. When reading Son of Perdition, I knew without a doubt, this woman knows her stuff. Even when forced to put the book down by things that wouldn’t wait, my mind continued to check in on the characters as if they were real members of my acquaintance. Though not a suspense, this historical contained enough plot twists to keep me guessing. Even when I thought I could see where she was headed, she led me with such artistry, I was caught unaware. I do not want to give away too much, for this book is so worth the read, but know, you will never look at Captain Ahab or Moby Dick or even the sides of the Civil War in the same light. When one learns and grows while reading well-written fiction, that is the sign of a great book.

The second book I picked up on a friend’s recommendation. I was not disappointed. Christine Schaub’s Finding Anna is the first in the Music of the Heart series that looks at the stories behind the great hymns of faith. She began with a story many claim to know, me included. However, I was so taken by her retelling of H.G. Spafford’s writing of the lyrics to It Is Well With My Soul that the black moment was made very real. Even though I thought I knew what was coming, in reality, I didn’t. I was swept along with the flow, bringing humanity to the tragedy. Ms. Schaub writes in her Author’s Notes “If I did my job and convincingly wove those two elements (history and fiction) together, if I presented you with a really exciting, plausible story, you won’t get caught up in the details wondering, ‘Did that really happen?’ You’ll just believe it.”

I believed it.

Abundant blessings, all!


Jennifer Tiszai said...

I'm just amazed that you survived no Internet with your sanity intact.

Yes, I've gone on a good book reading binge too. It really does make a difference in your writing when you're not turning green with envy. We should get a little posse of people together to read the same books and discuss them, particularly in regard to what we can learn about writing from them.

Good to have you back in cyberspace :)

Sabrina L. Fox said...

I missed ya, Jenny! I kept pulling up your blog and nada...still the hat. Not that I'm tired of looking at the hat, mind you. =)

Anyway, you're doing much better than I would be. Hope you get your mail soon.

Malia Spencer said...

Welcome back Jenny! I had to look at your blog picture because I missed talking to one of my mommies. LOL

Glad to see you updated. I must have read the hat thing a dozen times or more. Nice to have new material to reread. ;)

Jennifer Tiszai said...

ARRRGGG! Blogger ate my absolutely inspired comment yesterday. Anyhow, the clouds are getting bigger than fist sized. I sense change comin' just around the bend.