rotating header

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Hawk and the Monkey

Yesterday as we walked into the hospital for an early morning meeting, we heard a very distressed large bird flying and squawking above us.  A mother hawk was circling, flapping, calling, around a roof-top tower of metal struts that holds up an antenna.  Her nest was built in this tower, but sitting smack in the middle of it was a rather large monkey.  Eating her eggs.  This was no small song-bird, but she was powerless against the invading primate.  So she flew her circles of mourning, protesting, but helpless.

It was a particularly disturbing scene because a half-hour earlier, I had a text from my USAFA son.  His summer does not include any vacation.  Long-story-short, this kid overslept one 7 am meeting in a week when he was up all night as a mentor to first-year cadets after one of them died in a skiing accident, among other stressful things, and ended up in trouble with his department.  He lost his original research opportunity and had to give up his entire summer to work locally, first doing research at an engineering firm in Colorado Springs and then working two sessions of Basic Training for new cadets.  He is a hard-working young man and very willing to do all that.  He leaves in August for a semester abroad.  We return in August for a sabbatical year.  A few weeks ago he worked it all out so that our entire family could spend a few days together the first week of August, between the end of Basic Training and the departure date for his semester abroad.  This is not official vacation time, but in years past if the semester abroad starts later than the Academy academic calendar, those cadets can take a week of leave.  I will confess that a six-way overlap in time and space is a miracle that is happening less and less often, and pretty much the highlight of the year for me.

Only this year, it turns out, a policy changed, and the cadets-going-abroad can't leave.  I am not sure why, or what they will do, other than sit in their rooms while others start classes.  Perhaps attend briefings.  I don't know.

But it felt to me like the monkey had climbed into the nest, and I am circling and crying.

My devotions that morning included Psalm 143:  a fainting spirit and a desolate heart, outstretched hands and a gasping soul.  But also the declaration: in you I put my trust, deliver me.  The second reading was one of my all-time favorites, 2 Chronicles 20.  Our eyes are on you.

There is nothing we can do about policies, generals, kings.  But our eyes are on God who knows our soul's longing to see our son.  I am thankful for our Christmas week.  I don't want to be greedy.  But a week in August would be a real boost to all of us.  Last summer was the same, no expectation of intersection, and an 11th hour surprise pass.  Perhaps we have used all our mercy, I sometimes think, but then I remember they are new every morning.  Grace has no limit.  Can you pray for a loophole, a kind person in power, an authority with heart, that somehow notices and lets C out?
(At this year's graduation, the same day as all of the above, with roommate, photo courtesy of room mate's mom)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Praying for mercy and 6-way family time in August