I read a story last week on NeverTheLess—my friend’s blog—which sparked a series of flashbacks as vivid as the explosive cocktail of gold fireworks which lit the dark sky over Lake Leman at the end of the Fête de Genève—Geneva National Celebrations.
In my flashback, I saw visions of the many hours I spent sitting on my hands at the edge of my bed. The many hours I spent staring out of the window, through 10 meters-high trees lining the outer perimeter of the garden into the open farming field across the road to my house, lost in my thoughts.
I saw that time when I was faced with a snow-white agenda. I had no-where I needed to be on any day. No where I would be missed if I did not show up except at home. Even if I had somewhere to go, my circumstances made it difficult for me to leave my house.
Sitting on my hands was something I did unconsciously for a long time. I always had my hands tucked under my laps. It was a position that enabled me to prop myself up and keep my back straight during the many hours I spent each day nebulizing, doing breathing exercises while lost in my reverie. In that position, I saw the trees changing as the seasons changed—one day green and luscious and the next, twiggy and dry.
I recalled it was at one of such times so desperate I cried to God, “What next? I can not be retired at this age. Even retirees have something gainful to do to keep them occupied.”
I felt Him asked me that same question, “What is in your hands?”
That question resonated in my spirit. I had read the story of the widow who gave her small oil and handful flour to Prophet Elijah and there was food for her family everyday. Her jar of oil and barrel of flour did not cease to flow until God gave rains to the land – 1Kings 17: 10 - 16. I had studied the story of the small boy who offered his five loaves of bread and two fishes, and 5000 men ate and were satisfied. There were leftovers too – Luke 9: 11 – 17.
I remembered I cried in response, “My skills and my hands, Lord, this is what I have. This is all I have to offer, take them and use them.”
In a flash I saw the day I woke up recalling a dream I had overnight. It was about a woman so desperate to save her daughter from the snare of a curse that she was willing to sacrifice her freedom and enter into a place where she would devote the rest of her life to praying. I did not know what to make of the dream, yet it would not leave me.
So while I was in my usual position—sitting on my hands and gazing into the field—I pondered on the dream. The more I pondered on the dream, the more I found myself outlining a plot and building a story from it. Suddenly, I had a strong urge to write it down. I looked around for a notebook but found an old diary on my bedside table, my hands came out in a flash and I started scribbling. It became my first fiction work-in-progress. I have been writing since that day.
Today, though I still spend considerable amount of time nebulizing and doing breathing exercises, I multitask. I have no time any more to sit on my hands. They are too busy writing, turning pages as I research a topic or typing. Sometimes it is a story—fiction, non fiction. Sometimes it is a message. At times, it is a poem. The words are flowing and are crafted into something beautiful like molten gold in the hands of a goldsmith. I am awe-struck at the seemly insignificant things that ignite an inspiration. It can only be by the help and grace abounding from God.