There was something in the wind that whispered “Hurry…”. Leaves scuttled across pavement, scraping out the rustling sound of Autumn. Overhead, the sky was blue with small white clouds scudding by, looking like they were late for an appointment. Flocks of birds passed over, stopping here and there to rest on telephone wires…neat rows of small black shapes, balancing forward against the wind. Hurry, hurry. Something in the wind spoke even to the birds, Winter is blowing in behind this last warm day.
We pulled out ladders, brushes, paint. The last day to finish this Summer-long project, to get the house and cottage and garage completely wrapped up before the cold weather. We had trim to paint, windows to finish, shutters to hang. Little girls in over-sized paint shirts took up brushes and helped, music played and laughter rung through the near-bare limbs of trees as we worked. So much work had gone into this, so many hours spent scraping in the hot sun with sweat running down your back, wasps buzzing around your head, so many hours with brush and primer and tape and tarp. So many blessings, too, as friends offered their help and dropped off their extension ladders and grants made painting the big house possible. Still, it had all looked undone for so many months and it had been so hard to picture what it would look like finished. When I saw the house, I saw a thousand loose ends and for so many months I struggled in that unsettled place.
And then, in one weekend, the ends began to weave together. How much difference do those finishing touches make! The last of the shutters, painted red, were hung. The ladders cleaned and put away, all cans of paint and tarps and scrapers, buckets and tape and mineral spirits tucked out of sight. The last of the weekend was spent cleaning and trimming and raking in the yard, the roses cut back to their stubby, winter shape.
And finally, after all the time, the setbacks, the do-overs, the trips to Home Depot…
We stepped back and admired the job, the finished job, the fresh new paint covering what started out as an unsightly, toxic lead hazard. This morning, the wind blows and the rain falls and the sky is November-dark. And I am ready, finally ready, to enjoy it. Because the job is finally done! And you know what?
It feels really, really good.
Thank you, God, that You are there for us when the job feels never-ending. Thank you for the joy of loose ends being woven together, for the feeling of joy in the completion of hard work, for the feeling of unity we get from working together. Thank you for church family, those dear friends who offered their time and their experience to help us. What a blessing hard work is!