Monday, October 4, 2010

The Tipping Point

"It's like you're waiting for some thunderous boom. Do you think maybe you should wait for the silence?"

I let her words soak in a bit before responding.

Silence. Funny thing that. You mean, the nothing?

The emptiness?

Is that where I should be looking? The long periods of uninterrupted, dull afternoons, with the light casting long shadows over couch cushions and dusty floors? The early morning stir, with no phones dinging and coffee still whole bean and tucked in shadows?

After late nights of long questions, I should be searching for that drawn out gaping hole that swallows up my whispers?

That wordless, thick air that hangs over my breath, supporting simple pleadings slipping out between drops of tears.

This silence.

I have started a list. Of things I just absolutely don't know what to do about. The only thing I know to do with them is to put them on a list. It started with two. Then grew to four.

Now it's somewhere around eight items that are running toward me without hint of delay.

That's when I hit the tipping point. That moment when I suddenly realize that life is barreling down the hillside like a herd of wild horses, thundering at me to keep pace.  

If I'm not careful, if I'm not deliberate, my own compass begins to spin, wildly searching for North. For the center. For home. I can't capture in words this nauseating struggle to stay just balanced enough before one side of my life just collapses into the category of "everything I can't handle."

So the phone call that says, "You might need to stop shaking trees and banging pans. Maybe it's time to be quiet."

Someone should really consider writing a manual on adulthood. Or being a human being. 

That would be really nice.


  1. God - I start spinning when I have too many tasks to do in one evening. Do I go to the store, do I get to the laundry, do I just relax and watch the show? But she needs this, and I need that, and I have no idea what you need so maybe I should do this, that or maybe even ....

    SPINNING. And WOW is it ever so trivial and annoying. But I like how you put it ... my compass is spinning looking for North. And I'm just trying to figure out what to do about dinner.

    So God bless YOU my friend with a million (or 8) questions and the heavy handed silence that's been slapping you around.

    Cuz I'm standing here with a mile long list on paper, like Santa just before getting in the sleigh, and I'm completely overwhelmed.

    Just so you know. I feel that way too.

  2. sweet friend of mine! i wish i were there, knowing what is going on in your world, knowing how to encourage but since i'm not, i'll take comfort that i am not alone and pray. i believe in you and all that you are doing! He who BEGAN a good work in you WILL bring it to completion! :D

  3. I'm praying this for you:

    Philippians 4:6-8 (New International Version)

    6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

    Loving you from here!

  4. Jacqui —just the camaraderie in the "i feel that way too" helps. thanks. lots of love.

  5. Kim — thanks for your friendship, even far away!

    Shannon — thank you so much. I needed that word today!