A Welcome Evening Visit

Emily stopped by the other evening. I knew it was Emily before I opened the front door. She rarely uses the doorbell; instead, she knocks loudly. Opening the door, I am greeted by a grinning 6-year-old who is missing a few baby teeth.

Emily doesn’t stroll in, she bursts in with the knowledge she is always welcome. She asks the customary question, “What ‘cha doing, Hessie?” She uses that nickname because Heather was just too difficult to pronounce when she was a toddler and so it has stuck with me and her.

Looking around at the sweeper pulled from the closet, the Swiffer begging to be swept across the TV stand and the pile of laundry waiting to be folded, I asked, “What do you want to do, Emily?” I already knew the answer.

The last few times Emily visited, she would run straight to the deck of Go Fish cards on the coffee table. Ever since we took up the game, she comes back for more. And each time this astute kindergartener will suggest we “change” the rules. Her imagination astounds me. We play the game according to her suggestions which usually end in silly laughter.

As Emily deals the cards, I gaze around the living room at the unfinished household chores and sigh. It is a warm evening and there is a calming breeze blowing through the screen door. And I give a silent nod to my Maker that Emily was more important at that moment than the dusty table tops. In fact, she was just what the doctor ordered. Emily was my brief respite from a harried day. She pushed aside the worries. She brought sunshine to an otherwise cloudy day.

Anyone who lives in this Ohio Valley knows these past few weeks have been rare of good news. The front page headlines are heavy with difficult, often sad and disturbing revelations. You can almost taste the tears that run along with ink from the press room.

The lives of too many people have been affected by disturbing crimes, alleged of course, until proven otherwise. Schools, cities, churches — no one has been immune to the challenges that will be played out in courtrooms in coming months.

I’m not sure where things went wrong with society today, but the people we often respect the most, have been letting us down. For many, the upcoming Holy Week will be a challenge. It also could be a turning point, a renewal of the belief that good will prevail over evil. The movies are filled with super heroes doing just that every day. I believe it can happen, too, in the Church if the faith is strong enough and placed not at the feet of man, but where it belongs. Next weekend, as church services are held, Easter baskets are filled and families gather, I hope you will take the time to enjoy the simple moments that life offers. Maybe slip a deck of Go Fish in some of those baskets and see what happens.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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