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Lynna Clark column: Just dust

By Lynna Clark

I’m pretty good at hiding my crazy. But sometimes it’s a bit disconcerting even to me. For instance, I can’t stand to raise the blinds and leave them a bit cock-eyed. That won’t do even for a minute. I hate marking something out with an ink pen when I mess up. I just get a new piece of paper and start over; even on something as minor as a grocery list. And I really hate grammatical errors to the point that I have a hard time texting. While I’m trying to be all hip by getting used to abbreviations, I still think twice before using “lol.” Probably because for the longest time I thought folks were sending me lots of love.


I got a new day planner for 2021 as if my life is so busy I need to take careful notes. The only thing I have to keep up with now is all the doctor appointments. Like my mom-in-law used to say, “When you get to a certain age, there’s always somewhere to go; either the drug store, the doctor or the funeral home.” Sadly, I think I’m there. As I added the January appointment to my new calendar, I put it on the wrong stinkin’ date. My fresh clean planner is already messed up! It felt like a bad omen. As my hopes for the new year plummeted, I thought of the white-out stashed in my desk. Quickly I tried to cover up the mess. But alas. The cure was worse than the error. A crusty white blob stared back at me on my fresh new year.

Panic squeezed my chest until I realized the soiled date is also Winter Spruce Up. This magical day is celebrated throughout our small town by hauling all manner of unwanted junk to the curb. Diligent city workers will cart away discarded treasures for free. In our case, it will be the 1980s model washer and dryer that died simultaneously on black Friday. These faithful friends have been part of our lives longer than I can remember; much like the shoes of the children of Israel as they trudged through the wilderness. Those things just never went out of style. Another good thing about being crazy is that the word free covers a multitude of angst. Plus, now I have something to write over the white-out on my new calendar. Carefully, I printed “spruce up” over my former mess. It’s not perfect, but it is better.

Last year taught me many things. Probably most important is that I am not in control. Who would have ever suspected that as organized and careful as we are we’d get caught with our britches down and nothing to wipe with.

No, I am definitely not in control. No matter how much I plan, stuff happens. Appliances will give up the ghost right before Christmas. Sickness will hit no matter how healthy we eat. There’s not enough white-out in the world to cover our crazy. However, God “knows how weak we are — he remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass — like wildflowers, we bloom and die as though we had never been here. Psalm 103:14-17 says, “The love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him.”

The best way I know to deal with crazy is to give my uncertainties to the father. I function much better with him in charge anyway. As it turns out, he’s really good at making some very useful things out of dust.

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