6:24-wish for a house
6:24. I saw it on the microwave clock today, as I do twice every day.
Wish for a house. I thought to myself.
June 24th is my birthday. “Yep, Me and JB.” I always respond when people remark on it--a little esoteric piece of knowledge that people would rarely interpret. John the Baptist is to whom I am referring, but even that is a reach for many. I hardly think anyone carries around the knowledge of who I share a birthday with--let alone what their initials are Also Roy Disney--the older brother of Walt. Which is fitting, in its way. Walt Disney had a brother? I didn’t know that. Yes, and Jesus had a cousin.But “6:24”, it is everywhere. And every time I see it, I make a wish. I make the SAME wish.
“6:24--Wish for a house.” I say. Maggie says. We all say.
Dan claims he can never forget my birthday because I remind him every time we are in company. Sometimes twice a day. 6:24--it’s available always--a two waking hours type of time. But it is everywhere else too. On my Toy Blast game--I need to capture 6 bears and 24 bubbles. On my car clock, the microwave clock, my phone clock. Once, driving to work I was bummed to realize I missed the wishing hour in the morning in a flurry of getting ready.
“God pays an awful lot of attention to you,” my friend Bess once remarked. And He does. He likes to let me make wishes. And my one wish--among acres and acres of wishes for family, friends, loved ones and even not-so-loved-ones--is for a house.
Mags, you see. We needed to move her last year. Where she was in school, in life, it wasn’t a reflection of her true spirit. It wasn’t a place she could breathe. And--though I have never been a person slave to athletics--she needed a school which had a lacrosse team. We were moving anyway, so we jumped over to the Francis Howell District. DONE.
Dan will tell you I bullied my way into my house and I did. My previous house sold so soon and needed to be turned over so very quickly that I had to find a rental. And a rental in this district is a miracle to come by. But come by it, I did. I called the owner--followed none of the stated rules for contact--swooped in and paid for the whole first year. No questions. No lingering conversations. And no--thank you sweet baby John the Baptist--credit check. 720 or higher in this district? Umm. Not quite. But where me and mine are concerned, I am not messing around. And what I want for my children, I get for them.
I want our dreams to happen. And sometimes they are so clear to me that I can almost touch them. Sometimes dreams are exhausting and I can’t hold them at all. And somewhere in my mind? I want the book to be a part of giving us a home. Somehow...somehow I feel like it will be. A home with a great story. I sure would like to give them--us--that.
You know, it is so silly now to think of it--to even admit it--but I once very long--long, long--ago wanted to be a saint. This was a little dream I had when I was little. I realize now that “blessed” would be the highest I could ever possibly come since I sincerely doubt I would ever lay claim to a miracle--which, I think, is what differentiates the two.
I think with the book...I don’t know. I just want so strongly, so boldly, to be a force--no, a VOICE--in the world. A voice for faith in the world, and for God. To make Him approachable for the weary. To make it mainstream to need Him, to call Him by name, to make it not so hard to turn to Him. Or something. This dream of mine--it didn’t ential actual research for what being a saint required.
And that dream is still in there. For sure. But I am afraid I have fallen human. Fallen victim to being human in my search. And wanting attention? Maybe? No, not really. I want to be liked, certainly. Enjoyed for my talent. To make people smile when they hear me tell a story. Or laugh--that is the best. But still I want God to have the glory.
Not me. I don’t need it. I just need a house. A farmhouse, actually-my waking dream. A tiny spit of land--maybe just a bit more land than house. Can I have a barn? God, can I dream for myself a miracle?
You know, every time I sit down to write, I put my fingers on the keys and close my eyes for a heartbeat. “Please” is all I request. Please give me the words. Incidentally, I do the same for my students reading in Mass. They step onto the altar, step up onto the stool. Adjust the microphone. And I close my eyes. “Please.” Please, give them the words.
The book is only the product of me putting a human frame around the Spirit’s words. Rarely are they my own. And when they are, I can tell. I can tell that some words are not as life-giving as others. And that’s okay. Sometimes a story is just a story. “Mona’s a bit of a show-off,” someone once said and that is true. Storytellers have a certain dynamic. The experience of storytelling IS enjoyable. IS captured with a bit of flair. A bit of show off, if you will.
Someone once called my writing graceful. I can tell that some of my words aren’t as full of grace as others--and some stories aren’t either. Some chapters in all of our lives aren’t as graceful as others.
And still I want our dreams. But I have come to realize, I only want human things for the book. A home. A daydream. To have enough--enough space, money etc--to care for my parents in the winter of their lives. Space. Security. Comfort. The joy that the unexpected can bring is a possibility I hopefully await--but I just want human things. To tell my story. To write whatever another heart might need to hear.
But I want to leave God what is God’s. The peace. The joy. The hope it may inspire. The peace it may bring to someone else on their way. These things, they are not mine. I am not the giver of these things, they do not come from me. They pass through me in a voice better than mine can ever be, in a language that is not mine to command--the language of the heart.
I hope great things for this book. Great things for this so very human endeavor. But I just want the human things. I just want to tell a story in a voice people can hear.
The book--actually--has been pushed back to late June. All the final edits are in. The cover chosen. The FINAL APPROVAL given--yikes! It will go to the printer next week. I will receive my copy a week later. At last communication, the book will be available to the public 22 business days from the start of business this week.
Twenty-two. That’s the odd little number I was given. Not 20. Not 25. Twenty-TWO.
And what date is twenty-two business days from this Tuesday?