She sat there pouring her heart out to me; we were holding hands, I was amazed at the beauty of her honesty, as well as my lack of emotions in listening. Normally when you cry I cry, but not yesterday. The thing that sat on me sideways was her description of how she and God used to be together, how she longs for that again – not to go back, but to have now – because her then sounded like my now and I got scared the way I get scared watching a Hoarder’s episode and one of the kids tells of how clean and orderly the house used to be, I think, “Oh, crap! That could be me one day!” Like that. We sat and talked for an hour. Then, without missing a beat, I went to where he was; to talk, to listen, to encourage. The night before he had been lamenting and made a real and off-the-cuff comment that drove the point home that he and I are related – father and daughter – I laughed while holding back tears. Anytime it’s made obvious to me that I come from him I am overwhelmed with emotions.
I’m an encourager and a writer. Not that either one of those could be put on my resume but they are the things I think about as I walk through my day. After they left the house and I scrambled to get some breakfast all my lacking of emotions kind of fell apart and I was feeling like I’d been lifted above every word I’d ever thought, written, or said, and was at a loss. We try to speak niceities into someone’s shitty circumstance just to be left feeling like an asshole because all that really matters is that you show up. It’s like I looked back on the morning and could see myself sitting with each of them, respectively, and I was grasping for all the right and proper and godly and encouraging ways to lift them up above the dung heap they’d been thrown into because I didn’t want them leaving discouraged or empty or sad. And when I look even deeper, into my own self (it’s about to get real up in here), I see that I needed to speak those niceities over them, finding some Scripture that was appropriate for the moment, and preaching that God is either mighty or He is not, because I’m lost somewhere in the space between hope and fear and sitting in silence with them, which is something I just wrote about on facebook last week, would feel like I wasn’t as wise and transformed and wonderful as I like to think I am. Ahem.
There are no easy answers when you find yourself face-to-face with something you’ve never experienced. All that stuff you have been through, well, we like to think we’re wiser for having walked through the muck but sometimes the new thing comes from left field and our experiences haven’t come from there and we’re left groping and doubting and wanting it all to be different and better and not this.
Later I got the feeling that it was one of those days where when you’re living somewhere off in the distant future and look back it will be the day that separates the before from the after.
My prayer as I muddle through all this is that God will pull me from that space between hope and fear to Himself – all of us - to Himself. Amen.