Sue didn’t sleep much Thursday night. I left for Huntington Lake at 10 p.m. and Jessica and Valerie climbed on the bed with Sue and gabbed for two hours. Then Val went to bed and Sue and Jessica gabbed for another hour. Wedding talk mostly. Jessica went to her own bed and everyone went to sleep, but when the thunderstorm hit around 2 a.m. Jessica crawled back in bed with Sue.
Sue and I “moved away” from the girls about three years ago. We down-sized, leaving the girls in the big house near Fresno State. A year later Val moved in with us. Then, last August, Jessica, recently returned from adventures in Idaho, moved in with us. Sue gave up her sewing room for Val and I gave up my office for Jess. There was a period following the compression during which I was extremely dubious this could work out. However, we all adjusted.
During this last year, and especially following the cancer diagnosis, Sue and Jess and Val have reconnected. The girls have been a big help to Sue, and it has been a blessing to her to have them here right now.
This and other events that smell and taste and feel a lot like “God things” remind me of a story the Imam of the Madera Islamic Center recently told me when we were discussing God’s intervention in our lives. With apologies to Abdulla, the story went something like this:
“A king had a wise, Godly advisor. When certain things would happen in the king’s life he’d ask the advisor why they happened. Often the advisor replied: ‘God knows what is best for you, Sire. It is God’s will for you.’
One day the king was on a journey and, by accident, he cut his hand quite badly. After the medics patched him up, the king summoned the advisor and asked why he was cut. The advisor replied, “God knows what is best for you, Sire. I believe this is God’s will for you.”
This response angered the king, so he fired the advisor and sent him away. Soon after the advisor left, a band of savages came upon the king. They had been looking for an animal to sacrifice, but decided the king would make a better sacrifice. They bound him and took him to their village and prepared him to be sacrificed. When the preparations were complete, the high priest came out to make the sacrifice, but when he saw the cut on the king’s hand he stopped and said “we can’t sacrifice this man, he is already cut and is imperfect for a sacrifice. So they released the king.
The king summoned his old advisor and told him what had happened. “I think you were right, he said. God used the cut on my hand to save me. But how was it God’s will for you that I sent you away in disgrace?”
The advisor replied, “that’s easy, Sire. If I had been with you, I’d be the one they sacrificed.”