Five Minute Friday: After

After a long time forgetting about it, I return to Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. The word today is “after:”

After the storm, we’ll run and run . . .” a voice begins in my head, and I’m disappointed with myself for thinking of M. & Sons first things — I don’t listen to them, mostly.

A precise, feminine voice takes over: “After great pain, a formal feeling comes; / The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs.”

Thank you, Miss Dickinson. I suppose I’d rather run than sit with tombily ceremonious nerves. But mostly I sit.

Then the somewhat pretentious voice of T. S. Eliot contributes his bit: “After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor. . .”

What then? After, after, after. “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace . . . will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Ah, Peter. After the cock crowed three times, you realized you’d denied Him. But He restored you, confirmed you, strengthened you, established you. After the storm of tears, you would have run and run; you ran back to the boat, back to the fishing nets, back to what had been before He promised to make you a fisher of men.

Were your nerves ceremonious like tombs when He who rose from the tomb was questioning you? “Do you love me?” He fed you fish, roasted on a fire; He told you to feed His sheep. His love did not break your heart; it dismissed your fears.*

It could only do that, however, after you had been afraid.

Thanks, Lisa-Jo!

*Obviously, if Peter hadn’t spoken up, Mumford would have won today.

©2013 by Stacy Nott

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