Is there anything too hard for the Lord?
When God said to Abram "Look now toward heaven." if you can count the stars- each one— "So shall thy seed be."
Then began a time of waiting. Sarai did not conceive—so she offered her handmaiden Hagar, an Egyptian woman, to Abram. Perhaps that would work.
When Abram reached old age the Lord added letters to his name. Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. God promised to make Abraham a father of many nations. At this point God made a covenant with Abraham. Still no son.
Then God promised to bless Sarah, "and she shall be a mother of nations." Still they waited.
When three men appeared to announce that Sarah would indeed bear a son she laughed. After all her skin sagged, her menses had stopped decades before this announcement. "An empty womb," that's what old women carry.
Then God simply said, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
When I walked out of the house leaving behind my pots and pans, dishes, and the bookcases I built in a room I called my Virginia Wolff room, I wiped my feet on the sisal welcome mat.
Then I counted the years I stayed in a marriage that never worked. I carved out my own life within a lifeless house of parallel lives.
When I told people they wondered what took me so long, "Inertia." "Children." With both in college the empty house echoed with a cultivated silence.
Then I told a son and daughter. "What took you so long," said my son. My daughter worried about who would pay for school and clothes.
When I left I also turned my back on the local coffee house where I bought raspberry twists and coffee. This is where I went to read a book or write a journal entry.
Then I moved on. One day I waited for my daughter to answer the phone. Her roommate said she'd call back. A week later she called to tell me she was busy.
When the days spanned weeks and then months, when letters went unanswered, when she changed schools, weeks became months and then years.
Then she married and moved several states away. Her brother and I talked. "Give her time," he said. I waited through several winters, summers and fall. Years turned into decades. I still wait.
When I write a letter and send a birthday gift or a check it is not opened. The check isn't cashed. "She's getting closer," says her brother.
Then she stops talking to everyone except her brother. I don't ask why because after decades the answer to why no longer bears any resemblance to the why of years ago.
When I pray now I ask for her happiness and as an aside I wonder whether this is too hard a task for God. This prayer for a time of healing.
Then I release the need for answers— and wait.