[I was really hoping to get more written on this before I posted it. But I figured I’d post what I’ve got for this week, even though it’s a few-hundred words shorter than I was hoping to post.]
Anna would be home by about 4:00, and Jacob wished it were closer. He needed rest, not sleep, but rest – from the shaking and re-shaking of everything, from his world rocking on what now seemed an awfully feeble foundation. Not that it should have been feeble. The Rock is not feeble, Jacob knew that, but, perhaps, the shaking revealed that Jacob’s world had been all-too-much founded on something shakeable. Not, again, that shaking demonstrated a feeble foundation, because the King does not forbid shaking for his children’s towers (especially if they are towers built on sand). His voice shakes the heavens, in fact. Jacob knew.
It was swirling, all of it.
And, so, again, all that was left was silence and waiting – waiting in the silence of fear and trust placed so firmly yet weakly.
“For God alone my soul waits in silence,
from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly
He knew the verses well, and it struck him – the profound and unexpected weight that they carried now – now that the world was shaking. All of his fortresses were crumbling into the sand, all of the towers erected in worship of the baals rocked back and forth, gaining momentum and toppling. The gravity of such mercy overwhelmed Jacob, even such gut-punching and painful mercy.
And there would be much more to see in the coming days, but I’ll get to that when we get there.
Jacob drove home, calling Mark on the way. Mark didn’t answer.
“Hey, Mark, this is Jacob. Just calling and seeing how you’re doing bro. Call me back when you get this.”
At home Jacob wanted only to find something to pass time as quickly as he could until Anna would get home. Something in him still pricked at his mind, that he should try to be productive with his seventy-five or so minutes. Possibly productivity would pass time more quickly, as busyness can tend to do, and, so, Jacob found something he could do. Jacob could think himself into madness, and he knew it, knowing therefore that whatever he would do had to be more than cerebral, something he could do, physically, and move or build with his own hands.
Re-stringing and tuning his acoustic guitar took about 15 minutes.
So Jacob sat, leaned back into the family room couch, holding his guitar, plucking out a melody that he had been working on recently. He played and he played, without stopping, plucking or strumming until it was a song, because the words had been written thousands of years before Jacob. Those words from his memory, the perfect speech that they spoke from heaven to his soul – those words were collided together with the transience of his melody.
He sang and played that song with the furor of hope and the loudness of trust. Over and over and over until Anna got home. She walked in, but he was singing and playing, his eyes squinted tightly and moist with seeping tears. Standing, she watched and she prayed for her husband, the man singing his prayer – “For God alone…my soul waits…he only….”
Maybe the shadows changed over Jacob’s eyes when Anna crossed through the light which was scattered into the house through the windows; or maybe he sensed the warmth of her presence. Either way, he knew she had gotten home, so he stopped playing, setting the guitar down on the floor leaned against the couch to his side.
She rushed down onto the couch next to him, putting her arms around him and squeezing tightly.
“I love you so much,” she whispered, nuzzled into his shoulder; and Jacob could tell that she was crying.
He hugged her back.
“I love you too.”
It was again one of those moments that lasted longer than it lasted. Probably, it was only fifteen or twenty seconds of empirical time, but it was longer — the length of comfort and trust and the love expressed between them.
“Well,” Jacob finally said, pulling back a little so he could see Anna’s mascara-streaked face. “I’m not forty grand in debt and I’m not dead, so let’s look on the bright side.”
Anna smiled, then nuzzled her face back into Jacob’s shoulder.