(Photos of the lovely Christmas windows at Harrod’s in London.)

I just can’t get past the disappointment today.  I just didn’t think things would be this way.  

I sputter these words though the lump in my throat, the tears that soak my pillow while that man I love more than anything offers comfort in the midst of his own stress, rubs my back. So many layers of disappointment I hold in while doing the needful and the dam finally breaks open in my weariness when I fall into bed.

We were supposed to be lying in a hotel bed tonight in Chicago for a business trip with some days at the end for us.  His mom flies from Phoenix to watch over the kids.  But the unexpected happens while we are in London and now those plans shift for what is needful.  Our three days of meandering in the city after those meetings are just a nice thought now.

But the greatest disappointment in the plethora isn’t a missed trip, it is the news I get at the vet early this morning. About how my dog has a tumor the size of a lemon on the back of his tongue and what this news means to each of us. I begin to grieve the imminent loss.

I can hardly pull myself together. Have to stop and wipe off tears before I walk into the grocery store, back into the vets office, the bookstore.  My eyes feel like I have been looking into the sun all day.

While I wait for the lady behind the meat counter to slice my turkey, a slight man holds a box of cake and looks at me confused.  Shakes his head, moves his shoulders up to his ears .When our eyes meet he walks to the end of my cart, says he can’t find the price anywhere. I turn it upside down, point to the price. Smile.

He continues to stand there, looks down at the cake.  Starts talking and I notice his grey blue eyes look tired, wring pink like mine. His hair combs greasy and the navy jacket and khaki pants hang on him like they haven’t been washed in a while.

And he strings sentences together as if this story he tells is just one endless paragraph he has told repeatedly.  I realize he isn’t concerned that I can hear him.  He just needs someone to listen because his countenance shrouds loneliness.

I lean in, try to hear but his mouth moves without sound.

And maybe his mental capacity isn’t what it should be but God created him and I know what it is like to be lonely like this, carry a heavy heart, so I stand there and listen to him whisper out a story and the only word I hear that makes sense is dog.  He is talking about his dogs. How his dogs died.

Sometimes life is like this. We can’t hear with clarity what God is saying in the midst of grief; make sense of circumstances in disappointment, but all we need to know is that He is with us. 

That simple word – dog -in the string of what I couldn’t hear or understand was like God walking up to me in the middle of the grocery store and letting me know he hears the cry of my heart, He is with me, and that’s all I need to know.

He can use anyone, at any time, to speak to us.  Are you listening?

 Linking with Ann @ A Holy Experience and Emily @Imperfect Prose and Tracy at Winsome Wednesdays and Jennifer at God-Bumps and God-Incidences today. If you haven’t visited their blogs, I encourage you to do so and be blessed!