When I first learned this year’s hunt would not be taking place up north, but practically in our own backyard – I headed to a quiet place to pray. I tried to erase those thoughts of many years ago; the last time the hunt took place down here; the time when it rained solidly for a week and I would come home to find damp, smelly camo gear spread throughout the downstairs. I tried to blot out those 5:00 o’clock mornings – feet stomping, chairs scraping across the kitchen floor, my husband ‘creeping’ back into the bedroom wielding a flashlight, whispering, ‘Go back to sleep,’ then turning on the overhead light to find what he was looking for. I tried not to think of the peaceful simplicity of that brief respite I enjoyed when the hunt took place up north. Why couldn’t they go up north this year? I pleaded to God in prayer. Your husband is getting older, he said, camping is cold and uncomfortable. Why can’t you be more tolerant?
Wow, that was unexpected. I had come to the Lord for sympathy, clearly he intended this to go a different way. I concluded a change in attitude was in order. My impatience, to which God is constantly drawing my attention, would need to checked at the door each and every morning.
So, rather than try to sleep in, I got up at 5:00 with the hunters – my husband, son, and one other guy. I joined in the morning banter. I joined them at lunch on Monday, when I was home. I was cheery and encouraging. I swept up the mud they tracked in and cleaned up the kitchen – on Monday.
By Thursday, I confess, I was exhausted and when I came home from work to find a kitchen filled with dirty dishes, I was more than a tad annoyed. While I made dinner, I muttered things to God, hoping this time he’d be on my side. He was non-communicative. That in itself sent a message. It stopped me in my tracks.
At dinner, in a calm and quiet voice, I asked if they continued to take a two hour lunch break, as they had on Monday. Both my husband and son nodded their heads, unaware. And no one had time to deal with all those dirty dishes? I was not angry, I was simply doing with them what God had done with me – he made me stop and think, I was trying to do the same for them, and they got it.
Communication with God and each other is vitally important in keeping peace. Both cases require us to pay attention and listen – to the words, but also to the silence. And at all times - pray. Margery Frisch