Inner space is the region between earth and outer space. Or, in my case, the region between what life was, and now is, because someone I love relocated to heaven leaving a black hole, and me, in this twilight zone. I feel unfastened, mechanical, muddled- and also, irregular because I can’t seem to stop eating toast. And butter. Sometimes I put the butter on the toast.
I’m not sad; I feel normal. Uber normal. My inner cheerleader pompoms through her usual routine, a bit too brightly; her hard candy shell keeping all the melty parts contained, or tries to… I can’t tell…because I’m observing all this from outer space, or inner space or general spaciness.
I do recall having one clear thought this morning:
When I don’t know what to do, I should do what I do know to do.
But I forget what all that is, so I have to rely on muscle memory, which as it turns out, is a lot like faith.
I get up and read the Bible, though I find myself saying a lot, “What? What did I just read?” I pray for people who are hurting, because so many are, and it takes little effort on my part to hold their broken hands. I do the laundry and dishes in slow-mo. My son Tim comes to the dishes’ rescue, and mine, to cook with me. We talk, sip chai and stare at recipes and make Singapore stew and bread; and taco soup with extra beef, and chicken tikka masala, and inhale the spices. I sit in the sun with a magazine and thank Jesus. I visit my daughter Grace, at her house, just to watch her live and take some cues; I invite the kids and grandkids for a barbecue, I go to church to hug and be hugged. And, of course, there is John the Baptist- my John, baptizing me in his love.
And I lean- not on my own understanding- but on the Everlasting Arms of my Confident Confidant; the smiling Lover of my Soul. Who, when I ask, “Everything will be okay, right?” Answers, “More than okay. Exceedingly, abundantly, more than okay.”
Muscle memory is “the act of completing a particular physical or mental task with such repetition that your body learns to complete the task more efficiently, using less brain power.” When we habitually rely on the Lord, we build muscle memory, to help us when the guiles of life and the trials of death fog our vision. We seek and call on Him now, that we may see and recall Him then, and remember how to live.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call on Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)
Written in honor of my dear friend, Debbie Boggess, graduated to heaven in 2015.