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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Special Place, Scene 2

     I stepped down from the kitchen into the utility room and glanced to my left at the wall where the Maytag was sitting. Humph, I thought, as I stared at the white enamel machine. But, then, I saw it. There was a small space just to the left of the machine. I moved to stand in front of the tall, shallow closet on the adjacent wall, where I could check things out a bit better. The small space was framed by the side of the closet on the left and a wall at the back and right of the space. Interesting. I moved closer and discovered that Mom had stacked some blankets or cushions of some kind on top of a storage box in that corner. The door on the right of the closet could be opened, but just enough to grab whatever was wanted from inside, because the machine stuck out too far to completely open the closet door.
     Turning to my side, I squeezed in through the narrow space but found I had to retrace my side-stepping because there was not enough room to turn around once I was in front of the corner pile. The one-eighty completed, I slid back in to stand with my backside in front of the space. I stretched my arms out behind me to feel for the cushioned top of the pile and it seemed just about right. Slowly I raised myself up on tiptoes and slid my rear up against the top of the pile. Yup, scooting back, I could actually sit on top. It was a snug little place but it felt good. I imagined myself in all kinds of fantasy situations. When my mind found my most familiar western scene, I knew exactly what I would do. Lifting my leg up, I pulled off my boot so I wouldn’t scratch the Maytag. It was not much of a stretch in that cramped little space but, still, it was just right. I pushed my stocking foot against the Maytag, ankle and knee flexed just as I had seen the stagecoach driver on television do. Arms raised and moving-- an invisible set of reins in one hand and a long whip for the horses in the other, “Yee-haw!” I was driving that run-away stagecoach and needing to work fast to save the lives of my passengers from the possibility of an overturned coach, while getting away from those bandits chasing us!
     Truly, the wonderful discovery of this very special place made an incredible difference in my view of the Maytag. The space had not been there prior to the need to make room for the machines. The shifting had made a “refuge” from the storms of childhood for me.
     As time passed and seasons came and went, I enjoyed my special place often. I had had no idea that I was changing and would need some time alone now and then—just to think and re-group. To be honest, most of the time there was spent driving that imaginary stagecoach, usually with my cowboy hat atop my head and my six-shooters bouncing against my hips. Still, there were other times when I just needed to be alone, preferring to be “invisible” to my world.  I could do that in my special place. In fact, if I drew my legs up close to my chest, no one could tell I was in the corner unless they, specifically, came to look in the space next to the closet. No one ever did. I was quiet when I was there, even when I was driving a stage coach because I did not want anyone to find me there and interrupt my solitary time. I mouthed my commands to the horses and my retorts to those bandits.
     I went to my special place when things had not gone well for some reason. Sometimes I cried. There were even times when I had done something wrong and needed to work up the courage to tell my mother what I had done. I found courage in my special place, all alone. It was a place where I often talked to God. That worked well because I could just talk to Him in my mind and God would actually hear me. I could tell God all that had happened that day or what someone had said or done to hurt me. Sometimes I made plans while I was talking to God in my special place, too. You know, like trying to see if what I had planned would be a good idea or not. It didn’t take long to discover if I began to feel ugly in my tummy, the plan was probably not such a good idea.
     The introduction of the Maytag had resulted in a brief time of loss and regrets but led to a long time of comfort in my special place. I wonder how many times this kind of “loss equals gain” experience is repeated as we grow. Throughout our adult lives we are challenged with many changes, some good and others not so good. If we can step back and look over the “Maytag’s” in our lives, we may also find that God allowed the change to intrude because God knew what was ahead for us and just what we would need when those changes came. Sometimes, God is preparing His provision but the pain of it causes us to miss the joyful expectation. As the song says, “Oh, how He loves you and me!”

****Our Special Place… Coming Tomorrow

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