Out of the blue

June 1, 2015 -- Living City

Out of the blue
The right preparation for a busy weekend

A friend and I were organizing a reading of my mom Anne Porter’s poetry at the local library. I had no idea what I had gotten into!

I had readers lined up and the program set. Then just a few days beforehand, my sister-in-law in Denver called out of the blue. We had spoken about the reading months earlier, but she hadn’t mentioned it since. Now she was telling me she had booked a flight to arrive that Friday at 10:30 pm.

With all the other preparations filling my head, I was dumbstruck. My husband John said he would go to the airport to pick her up, and I remembered that the “only one thing necessary” was mutual love. This addition to our busy weekend was our chance to live it concretely.

The next morning I had an early hair appointment. I’d had it colored just for the reading, but it turned out an awful shade of black! I even contemplated shaving my head! My hairdresser said I could come back and get highlights. When I called to my sister-in-law through the bathroom door to tell her I was going out, I realized it was not love for her. She had just arrived, and we had not seen one another for over two years — not to mention that she injured her leg in a freak accident on the plane.

Again the “only thing necessary” came to my rescue. I postponed the hair appointment, and we sat and talked for almost two hours. Later that afternoon I went with her to the emergency room to get her leg checked out, and it was a lengthy visit.

At the end of the day my hair was still that awful color. One of my mom’s poems reminded me that if I smiled enough, no one would notice how ugly I looked! I decided I’d give it a try.
With that preparation, I really felt that Jesus was present during the reading, the reception and the party at our house afterwards.

— Liz Porter Balzer, Hampton Bays, New York