Almost Perfect Sunday

I am struggling with how to express for you the almost perfect Sunday we experienced last week by the swake.  Honestly, it started out as the perfect Sunday with an unbelievable pink sunrise and some coffee in hand.  My personal stonemason was hard at work by 8 a.m. with that awful saw screaming in the background as he cut the stone to fit the columns.  When he wasn't cutting stone, it was perfect again and praise songs filled the morning air from the ipod near his work area.  Just as I would pick up the thread of the song, the saw would cut in again and perfection was put on hold.

Overhead the sun cooperated with my idea of the perfect day, spraying sunbeams along the tree line until late morning.  Then the clouds rolled in and the showers began.  Out front the stonemason kept working and the noise of the saw kept me off balance.  Finally I closed all the windows on the side of the house where the work was happening in an effort to stop what felt like a personal assault from the sound of the machinery.  You see, by last Sunday, the stonework had been going on for about 40 days on and off.  It was time for the stone work to be finished, for that saw to be returned to the rental shop, and for the swake to be peaceful again.  Much like the Israelites in the dessert, I was getting a bit cranky.

It didn't seem fair to be cranky when my stonemason was demonstrating such dedication to getting the job done so I launched myself into doing some laundry.  As I redirected the cranky energy to the laundry, the sun came out again.  I found myself in the bedroom putting away a stack of clean clothes as a shaft of sunlight lit up the neighbor's meadow.  It was beautiful, bright green and fresh looking with the sun catching a million water droplets in the trees and on the tall grass.  Somewhere in my subconscious I had the feeling that something was different about the view so I stopped, put the laundry on the bed, and went to the window.  There in the meadow amidst the sparkles of the fresh rain were two fawns barely visible above the grass.  Even the howl of the saw didn't frighten them; they hung around for a picture and then leapt back into the safety of the trees.

If all I had that Sunday was that one moment of seeing the fawns and getting the picture I probably would have declared it a perfect day.  But the day was not even half over and there were more not so perfect and perfect moments yet to come.  The Mischief Maker's wife came to visit in the afternoon and we sat together on the deck and wrestled with loss.  She has lived one lonely year without her Mischief Maker, a year laced with grief and sadness yet under girded by tremendous inner resilience and strength.  We struggled with the imperfection of living without the one you love, and the stone saw cut in and out of our conversation, an audible reminder of the rawness of the pain.  In an instant the conversation would switch to things that made us laugh leaving us off-kilter.  As we alternated between laughter and tears she suddenly pointed to the swake, "there's your heron".  Sure shooting, standing right at the water's edge closest to us was the heron I told you about in last week's post.  I have never seen the heron that close to the house before or since but it stayed long enough to allow for a picture seemingly unperturbed by my excitement. Pure beautiful perfection, a moment designed by a gracious God to remind us of his hand in our lives amidst imperfection.