Holy Week Hymn

glider glider2

I had been in the backyard working on one of those DIY projects. Years ago, Tim built a log glider and gave it to me as a gift. Mother’s Day, I think it was. At our current home, I have two rockers, a porch swing and the backyard glider. I consider them all tools of the trade. Storytellers must have places for all that pondering.

The wicker rocker in my bedroom came from Aunt Grace’s home in Georgia. Aunt Grace wasn’t my aunt, she was the aunt to my childhood friend Beth McCombs. I spent a Thanksgiving with Aunt Grace and the family once, or was it Easter? Who can say? But I do recall that we ate several slices of cake and handfuls of caramel chews while Grace sat in that white rocker and swapped stories with Norfleet and Judge Rufe.

When Grace died, Beth saved the rocker for me. I carried it all the way back from Georgia, strapped to the top of a van, Beverly Hillbilly style. I think that’s the same trip the kids brought a turtle back from Florida. Do turtles count as contraband?

I have a newer rocker for when company comes. Its seat doesn’t sag like Aunt Grace’s rocker. I keep the Grace’s rocker in my bedroom. I’ve written parts of every book sitting in that chair.

But on Saturday, I was working with Tim on restoring the back porch glider. All the varnish had worn off and the glider was looking aged and neglected, the way I feel sometimes when I look in the mirror. I told Tim if he would sand it, I would paint it. We settled on a glossy orange paint to spiff it up. If you ever come to our neighborhood and want to find us, just look for the house with the orange front door and the matching glider out back.

Tim sanded it and I did a lot of the painting, but he finished up the hard to reach parts for me. Tim’s good like that. The day was sunshiny and my allergies which I didn’t even know I had until this year weren’t acting up too bad. Once the paint dried, I ran out to the store and picked up some pretty pillows to match. When I came back, I got a message on my phone.

It was a note from the editor at Mercer University Press. She had just finished up the latest edits on Burdy, the sequel to Mother of Rain. It was her opening sentence that got to me: “I want to commend you for all your hard work.” I was an absolute mess by the time I read one of her closing sentences: “The result of our hours of hard work is a truly beautiful book.”

Tim, who had no idea why I was crying, wrapped me in his arms and let me bawl a bit before asking if I was going to be okay.

“It just feels good to have someone acknowledge how hard I work sometimes,” I replied. Then I went outside and sat on the newly restored glider and prayed for a good long while.

Praying allows me the chance to thank God for all the hard work he has put into making me who I am becoming. I’ve been a big chore for God. No one is more aware of that than me.

I figure God probably weeps when we acknowledge all His hard work, too, don’t you think?

Natalie Merchant may not have considered Kind and Generous a hymn when she recorded those lyrics, but her song sums up exactly the way I feel this Holy Week.

What is there left to say when we are standing before the Risen Christ who restores us all?

Except, thank you, thank you.



Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.


cat wollen

about 8 years ago

so often I fail to thank you for your beautiful writing- forgive me for that, because your talent is so impacting there is a tendency to think that your writing ability just runs through your blood and then a book shows up....I should know better, our son has musical talent and most the world will never hear his music. Writers and musicians are rare people who go through life unappreciated-shame on me for not supporting you as you labor over your work. Just the other night we had a dinner party and 'Mother of Rain' allowed us to defend the young mother here in our community that was and is so misunderstood from this past summer-you know what I am referring to Karen. I have shared this book often with people-thank you for writing yet again about subjects that need to be talked about. Loving people is always both a lovely thing yet messy-don't we know. Come soon for a visit, the ocean is soothing for the soul much like a rocker-you are always welcome here to write.. your friend, Cat


Karen Spears Zacharias

about 8 years ago

Oh, Cat, I never, ever feel under-appreciated by you or any of the rest of so many who come by here to read these musings. I know as a painter and creator you understand the laboring. I have your work on my wall, right here in front of me, reminding me that life is messy but it is our job to show up in the midst of the chaos. And the lovely thing is when we can then create something beautiful and stirring from that messiness. The way you have done and continue to do, everyday. The way so many who come to these pages are doing. I love that, you know, when art inspires art, creation inspires creating. And I do plan to come to the beach this Fall. I was thinking just the other day that I need to let the folks at the library know about the sequel. Creativity often draws the tears from me, but they are not unhappy tears. They are often tears of wonder and amazement at the way God continues to show up for all of us. Which is why I love that Natalie Merchant song so much right now. It just says all that needs to be said about God.


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