I wonder if we Americans are really in touch with the raging undercurrent of economic anxiety this nation is feeling. This past week I was dealing with my own situational concerns: a son sick with potential pneumonia based 13 hours away at college, a highly sensitive dog who had to be clipped down to the skin at the Groomers, a home schooled teenage daughter in need of more social interaction and who was just plain tired of me being her teacher- after only three weeks of home schooling.
I was aware of the news headlines, the dire straights that certain banks were in, the predicament that we all are in- but I couldn't do anything about these big, huge economic concerns. My own concerns were in front of me, and I was just trying to figure out what was required of me. What was I supposed to do, and what was I supposed to let God handle?
In the end, I saw my son miraculously recover from what would normally have taken chest x-rays and antibiotics to deal with. I saw my daughter end the school week yesterday with a smile on her face after a jaunt to the local mall with a friend and then an easy supper of pizza and wings where Bill, Abby and I enjoyed what I call our "happy meal" and Harry calls his sad meal- because he doesn't get a scrap of anything. When I say that this dog is delicate, you have no idea. The least bit of a change to his diet, and we all know in a very pungent way that he can't handle the change.
The changes in our nation right now are so upsetting and nauseating to so many that I imagine many have not been able to sleep or eat, much less have a happy meal. Our family already lives at a higher risk level than some families do because my husband is self-employed, we have no pension or retirement fund, and we've journeyed this way for so long now that I am used to the constant underlying pressure of living close to the edge financially. I don't enjoy it nor do I ever welcome it with open arms, but I have fully accepted that this is how we travel, so to speak- a bit like vagabonds living in a comfy suburban world with strange, out-of-this world beliefs that are best expressed in verses from melodies like "God will make a way, where there seems to be no way" and "Jehoval Jireh, My Provider, His Grace is sufficient for me".
But I still feel the tension and the wobbliness of what's going on nationally, economically, politically. There's a great amount of fear in our nation that's trying to go undetected so that the tidal wave of crisis and change doesn't become unnecessarily bigger than what it has to be. I think we want to be brave and stoic but many of us feel vulnerable, at risk more than ever, and shaky- whether we're employed, retired, unemployed, self-employed or just starting out.
I think this might be a good place to be- in touch with reality, in touch with the fact that we've never been so high and mighty that we've eliminated Risk and secured the big Guarantee. We don't want to feel vulnerable, but since when have we not been exposed to situations bigger than our control, mountains seemingly impossible to climb, rough choppy seas that should overwhelm a tiny boat?
This is walking-on-water time. Being in your little boat isn't any safer when you're in the midst of a turbulent, thrashing storm. I think walking on water may just be the thing we were born to do. It may just be exactly what God has called us to do- anytime we are tempted to hold back and hole up. Instead, God says, Hold On...to Me.