Continuations don’t work all that well for me. But someone asked so…
I was mowing in the tree nursery and Tom had moved on, out of sight to the next field. It was dusk. When I turned around at the end of the row and headed back toward the woods it was awfully dark up ahead. Dark enough that my mind started making up trouble. What if there’s a bear in the woods? What if it’s a mama bear? What if I get between her and the cubs? What if she thinks I’m getting too close with this noisy mower?
Oh brother. That’s ridiculous. So I forge ahead cutting down the weeds, grateful to have reached the end of the row where I can turn around and see the daylight as I head back toward the road. But as I turn my back to the woods I imagine that ole mama bear charging out to swat me with her huge paw. My heart pounds. I run with the mower still roaring. I run right through a spider web that I never saw coming. The wispy strands cross my face and arms. I scream, let go of the lawn mower, frantically slap my arms, looking for the spider that was no doubt crawling on me right now, but I also have to whip around and make sure the bear isn’t bearing down on me. Heart pounding, prickly hot, sweating… my panting slows, I breathe deeply, regain a modicum of composure — not sure if I’m more embarrassed about the scream or the imagined bear and spider. I can still hear Tom’s tractor in the distance. I can’t see anyone walking the road; surely the noisy mower muffled my cry of distress. All’s well with the world and this is a great stopping point (both for mowing and for story telling). The only problem is I’m still feeling a little jumpy and the car is parked up by the dark woods. I fish keys from my pocket, place my thumb on the panic button, try to whistle a happy tune and waltz surreptitiously to the van. Well, I beat it out of there without incident. No spider on my clothing. No bear scratch down my back.
Did I say working in the nursery is exhilarating? Oh yeah. It’s challenging, exhausting, and an exercise in courage. I believe in a heavenly Father who cares for me. Everyday I pray that he’ll use me in his service. But I don’t mean anything like use me for bear bait… Hmmm, God loves me unconditionally. My love in return has conditions… Like everything else in life, it’s complicated.