Go to content Go to navigation Go to search

Shot Of The Day

The Blended Road Smoothie

Ever have one of those seasons where you feel like someone dumped big chunks of life into a glass mixer and pressed blend? Big momentous things are happening so quickly that it finally dawns on you, despite your best efforts, you can’t slow down enough to process everything. It could be good stuff that’s happening or good mixed with bad or even little stuff that doesn’t seem significant until you stir it up… but suddenly you can’t keep the pineapples of your life separate from the peaches, apples and bananas. Your ordered world is going through the pulse, crush and puree functions on the blender and you’re sure your finger isn’t on the dial anymore. The separate things are merging into a soup that you haven’t tasted yet, and quite frankly, you aren’t sure you’ll like. You know how to deal with the ingredients in isolation, but now you’re discovering that separation was just a warm up for the trip toward the blended road smoothie. As I watch others go through the blender of life, I easily spot the two most popular flavors — Control Freak Crush and Let ‘er Rip Rainbow Surprise. We either make ourselves crazy trying to keep it all the way it has always been [or think it should be] in ordered chunks or we decide to ride it out, submitting to the temporary break neck flow of the whirl. Either way, we eventually find ourselves in the spin trusting, hoping, believing, praying that eventually the pour will come. The moment when the movement stops and we get poured back into the drink of life sporting a new texture in our red solo cup or our glass tumbler. The texture is so unfamiliar we need to sit in the cup a while and let the firmness of the container hold us still. The sips are small as we settle from the ride. If patterns are any predictors, soon enough, we’ll be drunk again. Swimming in the drink of life. On our way to another spin. For me, it was a death followed by a wedding divided by a college tour preceded by a wonderful new pastor, 3 back to back trips, several sick friends, delayed biopsy results and computer problems. Vroom, vroom, vroom goes the mixer. These are my smallest sips as I settle into the glass tumbler fresh from the pour. The biopsy was normal, but the waiting blended my own need for comfort with a friend whose biopsy was not. Together we clung to God in the waiting room talking about peace and where it comes from and how it isn’t designed to be dependent on the outcome. The best kind of peace… the deepest real peace… happens in the waiting room before the results come down and in the recovery room before the prognosis is given. In these few short weeks I’ve danced with delight at the health I already had but didn’t appreciate as fully as I should and she’s lost a lung appreciating, I’m sure, more fully the other one and the things that converge to compensate and bring breath back into the hollow cavities of life. In the process, different parts of separate seemingly disconnected worlds merged to create a smooth blend that human hands simply cannot concoct. Somehow there was gain on the blended road as people moved in to both comfort and to dance. I wish I could explain it better, but I’m afraid I’m still fresh from the pour. The death was unexpected, premature and awakening for everybody who knew Joe D. He was full of life, larger than life, not afraid of life, believed without question in eternal life… He was a pillar for so many people and institutions and he gave sweaty wet kisses to everybody he loved including me — often on the lips. That may sound strange or inappropriate to some, but that’s only because you didn’t know Joe D. He kissed my husband and my pastor and most everybody the same way. I’ve never seen the type of peace I saw in him after his daughter and wife died, until I went to his funeral and watched our founding pastor and our new pastor blend to bring comfort and peace to the whirling congregation. His death folded a new shepherd into his flock in a way that only the puree function can. Instantly, inseparably, deeply. Undeniably, there was gain on the blended road. Gain that separateness and isolation and warm ups don’t seem to bring. The red solo cup doesn’t begin to cut it in these times. Don’t let yourself get poured there. The glass tumbler is the container of choice — transparent and firm, open to plain view so that a warm hand can pick you up and hold you in His grip. Barely able to focus from the rotating, I arrived at the wedding, lump in throat from the long planned college tour. The one where your son walks on to a campus and knows he could really feel at home here. We’ve been to several colleges dreaming and imagining with our boy, but it all seemed remote as other school visits loomed in the distance. This one was punctuated with the knowledge that the blender is ready to whirl and the fruit of his life is about to get mixed into the world in a beautifully nutritious way. The separate time was just a warm up for the blended road smoothie we’re about to drink. God, I’m grateful for this design. The morning of the wedding, a friend’s mother died. I stood looking at Jay Peak in Vermont holding the phone while she wept unable to speak. The silence blended with the comfort of presence, the light on the mountain, the daisies blooming by my feet. All I can think of while she weeps is a gift she gave me years ago. It was a heart shaped box with a jar of bubbles and a yellow index card where she had handwritten a poem called Blowing Bubbles. It ends with this sentence — “Smile and watch the rainbow colors.” It was her way of saying — Hey Kat, let go. Let the blender whirl. That rainbow of colors is combining and rising up to heaven. Let em rise. God ‘ill sort it out. Keep blowing bubbles. And so when Brianna started blowing bubbles later that day as I sat under the shadow of the same mountain pondering the beautiful wedding, I felt the edges of the glass tumbler firm up around me, the whirling stop and the pour begin. She blew and laughed and knew without really knowing that her finger wasn’t on the control button. All the colors of this season blended in the rising bubbles. I’m learning at 48 not to resist the blender. I’m learning that the current blend defies my logic skills because it combines things that I’d never put together in a million years. Things I need but don’t know how to get in my own strength. Who would put weddings with funerals and college tours with biopsies? No sane man. Yet, I’m shocked at the miracles that happen when we’re unable to control the recipe. The 23rd Psalm says that God sets a table in the presence of our enemies. Not when they’re gone. Right in the middle of the funeral, the lump in your throat, the hard phone call, the bubbles. He’s present. Bitter and sweet, joy and sorrow, beginnings and endings, life and death, sickness and health, they are all whirring around in the blender of life. God is the one who makes it all smooth.

Posted: 30 July 2012