Last week flew by at a fast and furious pace. I left The Swamp (a.k.a. the piles on my desk) even deeper than usual Friday afternoon, but mentally, there was just no possibility of staying late to begin the slow, tedius process of draining it. I needed to go home, I needed to have dinner with my husband, St. Michael, and friends, I needed to shut everything down if just for few hours. I could think about my to-do list in the morning.
Unfortunately, when my friend Robert called the following night around ten to say, "We're figuring we should go ahead and pray so we can eat," I realized that my brain had shut down for a lot longer than just a few hours. I had missed a dinner party with dear friends, Sally and Larry Pepper, who were in from Africa. Not the usual obligatory function we all sometimes find inked into our date books but one of those all-too-rare richly intimate evenings filled with good food, good coffee, good stories, and more laughter than is probably legal in some countries.
Now Robert is one of those brother-friends who'd rather aggravate me than eat, and so while my momentary speechlessness closely followed by "I'M AN IDIOT! I'M A TOTAL IDIOT!" had made his night (especially considering that he had gotten to eat and then aggravate me, too), I, on the other hand, was just sick that I had missed an evening that had promised to be reminiscent of the magical evenings several of us had spent in Africa around the Pepper's dinner table a few summers ago.
How in the world could I have forgotten such a thing?
I realized it wasn't so much that I had forgotten that I was planning on spending Saturday evening with some of my most-favoritest people in the world as it was that I had forgotten it was actually Saturday. And that, despite the fact that Saturday has always followed Friday, and I definitely remembered that the previous day had been Friday. (I distinctly remembered having looked at the "F" on my pill dispenser that morning and saying in all earnestness, "Thank You, Jesus!")
Ah, the price of a too-busy life, an over-loaded brain, and . . . menapause? (Or maybe my sugar level was off, I am diabetic, y'know.) Heck, I didn't know what to blame it on exactly, I just knew that my mind had let me down -- not exactly a first, but it felt awful, nonetheless.
Still, all was not lost. I knew I'd have a chance to see Sally and Larry at church on Sunday morning. And, sure enough, I did see them at church (and even had lunch with them afterwards). Larry never changes, and Sally looked better than ever, but more wonderful still was hearing Larry open his heart to the congregation about what God is doing in Africa and his then challenging all of us to open our hearts to what God wants to do wherever we, as His people, find ourselves called to, whether it's across the globe or across the street.
Of course, as soon as the first slide of Uganda went up behind Larry, I started snuffling, and by the end of the service I was bawling. I know that, for the most part, I'm one of those called-across-the-street people, but I also have a deep, driving desire to be an across-the-globe person. You see, I miss Africa. Specifically Uganda. More specifically Mbarara, Uganda. In fact, on the walk across the church parking lot to the truck I put St. Michael on notice that I'm planning to return this summer. I'm not sure about the details yet, but I'm praying fervantly that God'll work it out.
Can God use a woman who sometimes can't even keep up with what day it is, and more to the point, would He?
I'm counting on it.