If you’re like me, you’ve experienced the benefits of negative ions at some point in your life. I’ve lived in both the Appalachians and the Rockies at different points in my own and I remember that I was able to find a sense of peace and well-being that, in spite of my best efforts lately, I seem to be missing. Maybe I need more negative ions…
Last Saturday morning, I had a list of things in my head that I wanted to do—like unpacking the bags of boots, books and other assorted accumulation of stuff that had to be packed up and moved when the carpeting was replaced a couple weeks ago.
We had a 9:00 a.m. appointment to take my car into the shop to have its snow tires put on. Then there was the desk I wanted to move into a different room so I had started clearing it off but got interrupted when our dog Sam needed his meds and I began the process of camouflaging his pills between slices of cheese and his beloved snickerdoodles.
I realized I’d forgotten to drink my coffee when I noticed Todd was already outside waiting for me in his car. I pressed 30 seconds on the microwave and dashed upstairs to change into jeans and grab something to read and write on while we waited for my car. I was quickly transferring some things from my purse into my briefcase so I wouldn’t have to carry along two bags just as he HONKED the horn.
That’s when I remembered my snow boats were in the back of my car so I ran out in my slippers catching a glimpse of Todd shaking his head and gave him a smile, though by now I was feeling pretty tense. He started to back out the drive just as I started up my Mini and got the blooper sound. I’d forgotten to transfer my key from my purse into my briefcase. Good, I thought, I could grab a pair of thicker socks to wear with my boots.
Deaf dog and cat were looking on as I pushed the door open with my hip. I felt the pressure off now that Todd was already on his way and figured he’d be settling in with a coffee at the café in the grocery store down the block from the car shop. I could drop my car off and join him.
I grabbed the socks and my car key and enjoyed the drive through my dad’s old neighborhood, checking out to see who was working at my friends’ factory on Burleigh, then passing by the duplex I was born in on Humboldt Avenue.
I pulled up to Habbhegger’s and parked. Todd was nowhere in sight so I figured he was at our store, the Outpost, already waiting. I was changing into my boots (this took longer than I thought because the lining was all bunched up) when I heard someone lay on their horn. Just as I was grabbing my briefcase, the horn blasted again. That’s when I noticed Todd in his car out on the street waiting for me.
At that point, I decided to walk the half block to the store instead of ride in the car. Todd hadn’t slept the night before and was a bit jumpy. I smiled again (fighting back the urge to say something I’d regret) as he walked up to me in his sunglasses. I explained about my key and the lining in my boots as we headed into the cafe.
“Are you hungry?” He asked.
“No, are you?” If one of us isn’t, the other isn’t either.
“Not really, no.”
“Maybe just coffee right now and eat later?” Yes, time to relax. We filled our cups at the self-serve counter and Todd found a table while I started looking around. Rather quickly (I must admit) my arms were filled with containers from the fresh food section—egg salad and whatnot, things that would be good for lunch the coming week, or right (I was beginning to get hungry), maybe for breakfast. Then I filled a container with greens and things from the salad bar and started choosing some bakery items just as Todd walked up.
“I thought you said you weren’t hungry.”
“I wasn’t. Want some egg salad…?” Silence. “Did you pay for my coffee?”
“Okay, I’ll be right there. I’m going over to the register to pay for all this.” I stood in line behind a woman buying three big boxes of some kind of glowing lamps. I wondered if they were outside decoration, which we were in a little need of. They appeared to be quite heavy as she was placing one of each into a recyclable grocery bag. I got up the courage and asked, “Excuse me, what are those?”
“Oh! Why they’re Himalayan salt lamps.”
“…What do they do?”
“They give off negative ions which are said to produce a sense of well-being along with many other benefits,” she said. “I thought they might make nice gifts for my friends that I’m meeting for lunch. They’re on sale.”
“Where are they?” I asked and was off.
You can imagine the look on Todd’s face when I walked up with my bags. “What’s all that?”
“Salt lamps.” Silence. “From Himalaya. For Christmas gifts…” Enough silence followed for me to suddenly feel a little foolish. Salt lamps for a sense of well-being…? What was I thinking?
So we went home that day with three Himalayan salt lamps I could have given names to—Stumpy, Stock (short for Stocky) and Slim. They didn’t look at all like their pictures on the box. I couldn’t think of anyone I’d feel good about giving one to so I started arranging them around the house.
I did a little research and learned the lamps are said to produce negative ions. They normalize serotonin which helps alleviate depression and improve clarity. This makes them effective in treating winter’s seasonal affective disorder (aka SAD). They are found in abundance in the heights of the mountains and in the overflow of waterfalls which explains that feeling I was trying to tell you about earlier.
Tasteless, odorless, and invisible, they go into our bloodstream. In high enough concentrations they rid the air of debris and things that make you feel lousy. In other words, you’re in a positive ion prison with the windows closed unless you have the shower running.
I began to doubt if my glowing triplets had the ability to produce enough negative ions to make a difference. Maybe with a slow steady stream of focused persistence in a very small area…? I had placed one near my desk.
You know that I Am your perpetual sense of wellbeing, right? Negative ions will help the air’s purity. I will help with yours. I can take you to heights like mountains for a sense of peace and wellbeing. And as ocean waves roar, I will use My Living Water to wash over you and cleanse you of all of life’s debris, for I Am the Living Stone.
But negative ions clean the air. They attach themselves to the dust and pollen, making them too heavy to stay airborne and fall. Won’t that help me feel better?
In large numbers…stop looking for shortcuts. Wait for My Guidance at every step. Why are you in such a hurry? Wait for what I have planned for you with an abundance of Love. Wait to be shown My Way. It is Joy to feel free yet planned for.
Oh…I muttered, (why does Todd have to be right about these things?)…You are the One who called me out of darkness into wonder-filled Light. I have received Your grace and mercy which, quite obviously, are the greatest negative ions around. Right? And You already paid for them…
Be persistent like the slow steady drip that makes its impression on the stone. Pray like the widow who kept going to the judge who neither feared God nor cared about people, for a plea of justice against her adversary. Although for some time he refused, he finally said to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or care about men yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming to me.” Will I find faith in you?
I’m trying. But I’ve been praying for the same thing for so long—years and years. And years.
If the judge who feels no constraint of right or wrong is compelled by persistence to deal justly with a helpless individual, how much more will I answer prayer? Can we take a look at what needs cleansing within you…? Who grieves and laments over and sincerely prays for the wrong that exists in the world? Do you?
I will bow my head Lord and pray for mercy. What have I put off until tomorrow that should have been done today because it wasn’t convenient or because I put my own needs before others, and before Yours. Forgive me.
Though you fail, I forgive. Though you turn away, I remain. Though you are distracted, and you are often distracted, I Am attentive to all your needs. Every detail of your life is planned by Me. Wait for Guidance. Learn more of Me and My Way until the thought of My loving leading gives you great Joy. I am the Cornerstone.
I feel ridiculous.
Tasteless, odorless, and invisible My Spirit moves into your bloodstream. Let your lamp remind you of that as you experience My nearness which strengthens your faith and fills you with calm. Open yourself to My Light, My Presence, My Love. Open yourself to My debris cleaning Power. Receive now the blessing I have prepared for you as you become a cleansed temple of the Holy Spirit who is able to do immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within you.
I will gaze upon Your Beauty—the Light that shines through the darkness of souls.
I love you. And that’s a fine looking lamp you have there…
Oh God…I love Your sense of humor.
And I love yours. Be my salt and season the work I give you with laughter and love.
Further reading: Psalm 149, Luke 18:1-8, I Peter 2:1-12, Ephesians 3:20
Photo by Josh Boot