Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A sad development and a welcome gift

Some of you may remember my good friend George, the cactus:

If you've met George, then you know he's not all pins and prickles. In fact, he's a warm fellow with a delightful sense of humor. I am mom to a whole family of cacti, but George is my favorite. He, with his unexpectedly soft heart, is oxymoronic. Whoever heard of a soft cactus? I love oxymoronic cacti, and I love George.

And then, yesterday, I saw this:

My normally erect little friend was leaning like the Tower of Pisa, which I have just googled and discovered is not the "Tower of Pizza" like I'd originally typed. Such a disappointing turn of events.

But I digress.

I gently tapped George, both to avoid getting stabbed and to avoid knocking him over, but he fell over anyway. And when he did, this is what I saw:

In the end, his soft, gooey heart was his demise.

Alas, sometimes those with wicked, prickly hearts prosper, while those with soft hearts fall over sideways to an anticlimactic end.  

IS THERE NO JUSTICE?!!!! I'm pretty sure King David wrote a Psalm about this. . .

I've propped George back up and am hoping his two parts will somehow fuse over the next few weeks. It would be my Christmas miracle.

In the meantime, I am healing from a bug I caught this weekend. In fact, I came down with this bug literally minutes after posting my declaration that I've been healthy all semester because of my daily raw garlic regime. Pride goeth before a fall, I suppose.

The good news is, because of my bug, I was home for a very special occasion.

Last year, when I was still struggling with regular relapses, I was home so much I could watch the sunset from my hilltop perch almost every day. I discovered that November and December host the year's very best sunsets. During these months, there are approximately four sunsets that knock my socks off, quite literally. As soon I see the sky catch fire, I peel my socks off faster than you can say "HOLY SMOKES!", I throw on my flip flops, and I run outside to my lookout point.

But this fall, because of my gloriously healthy body, I've been out and about so much that I missed the first two knock-your-socks-off sunsets. It was painful to have to watch them from the valley rather than on my hilltop, so I asked God that I'd be home for the next knock-your-socks-off sunset. This weekend, when I was home sick, he graciously responded by gifting me with one.

Unfortunately, I didn't get my camera out in time to capture the sunset in its prime. But you can imagine that the sun sunk into the sea and turned its turquoise waves a shade of flaming fuscia, and then God tipped the ocean upside down and waves of electric pink crept across the sky, till the valley glowed under a pulsing, fiery canopy.

I was too distracted by the sunset's beauty to get any good shots, but this gives ya a little taste of the glory

And oh man: our sun, sky, and sea are cursed and dying, and one day, when God recreates the earth, the sunset will be more dazzling still. Can you imagine what a sunset will look like when the sun and sky are young and uncursed? Holy.Smokes.

Are you busy and frazzled this month, friends? I hope you've had time to rest and enjoy twinkle lights and hot chocolate with people you love. And I hope you've had pockets of encouragement as you navigate the crazyness of the holidays. Yesterday one of my college students made me this tiny origami star "because you're a star." It made my day.

I don't think it takes much to make someone's day, but heavens, I sure don't think about ways I can do that enough. So here's my Wednesday challenge for us: let's go make origami stars. Or, if you're bad at origami, let's write a short note, or bake a brownie, or give a compliment. And then let's give that "origami star" to someone tired.

Happy folding, my friends.

Hugs and hugs and hugs,


© by scj


  1. You are a brilliant writer! Your imagination and insights are delightful, thank you for sharing your posts wit us:)

    1. Thank you, Aaron! You're so kind and encouraging. :) I appreciate this.