It's 11:04 on a Monday night.
The Civil Wars' new release is filling this shadowy space around my bed, around my head.
I'm thinking of you.
The proverbial you.
Sometimes I get so tired of hearing my own internal dialogue. Lately, it pretty much sounds the same.
It's why I took to silence and prayer last week. Why I neglected some things to find answers in others.
She grabs my hand on Sunday after church and pulls me aside. Her hands tremble and her voice shakes as she whispers the heavy truth as others pass by us, kiss me on the cheek, unaware of the holy moment of confession that is balanced in between our hands. I want to tell her it's going to be ok (but I don't really know that). I want to tell her it's all going to work out (but I'm not quite so sure about that either). Instead, I lock my eyes on hers. I tell my anxious spirit to stop looking for a way out of this conversation. I find her ripping open her heart before me. She is all raw beauty, intermittent laughter and tears.
A friend sits in my car and cries silently, her sunglasses hiding the pain that shudders behind her blue-green tears. "I'm in it now," she chokes out. "I'm not sure where I'd go from here." I tell her she is beautiful, and she shakes her head, pinching her lips tightly across the silent scream.
Another friend muses about her life. About the things she wants, but doesn't have. The dreams she dreams, and then stuffs under bills and assumed cultural expectations. "I'm not sure how to get from here to there," she sighs and shrugs her shoulders. Helplessly. Hopelessly.
Tonight, I kneel at my daughter's bed and ask her what she wants to pray for. She says the same (Maama and Poppa, since they are our current houseguests), and "all the babies everywhere." And I hear her words as she says, "Jesus. Thank you Jesus for Maama and Poppa. Jesus. Father. Be with all the babies everywhere. Amen." And my throat tightens as she just gets it. Right now, she knows she's heard and I kiss her goodnight and plead one silent prayer that the work of Grace would begin in her, even in sleep.
And then at night I'm dreaming of the brevity of life. I bolt upright in bed, checking to see if water is surrounding me. Am I actually drowning? I search the air for reality vs. imagination. For the seat that I was kneeling beneath as water spilled into my lungs, and the bed that now wraps me in white and quilts.
I write tonight thinking of you. Wondering what holy moments you need to balance between sacred hands.
Wondering what you think you're stuck in, silently screaming.
Wondering if you're giving up on such a short life, so soon.
Wondering if you're listening to your children, feeling like me — incredibly inadequate and far too self-absorbed, that it's a foolish story for anyone to allow me to raise a human being. Who came up with this insane idea?
And I'm wondering what dreams are sending you searching your bed for truth and lies.
Your questions. Your fears. Your words are not just empty clouds, illusions burning off in the light of day.
You have kept record of my days of wandering. You have stored my tears in your bottle and counted each of them. (psalm 56:8)May you find some moments today to be heard. Even if it's here.
Know that somehow, some way, someone hears you.