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In my search for wisdom and in my observation of people’s burdens here on earth, I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night.

Ecclesiastes 8:16 NLT

I sat in front of the window, how I came to this place, long and sordid. From running long distances to sitting here, pedaling slow, cane propped close by. You can read it about it here and here.

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Just yesterday I was there. Late evening, ear buds tucked in, The Sumer Before the War, by Helen Simonson helping to pass the time. I was pondering a plethora of thoughts chasing around my mind.

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I am always fascinated by the traffic just beyond the glass. It slowly builds ’till it is soon bumper to bumper, taillights stacked up against one another, as day fades to night.

How the hurrying comes to a screeching halt, traffic, stacks and backs up. I suspect the day began in much the same way.

I know this. I had this life, in my before.

My lists, color coded, checked off daily. The need for every surface to be clean, everything in its place. The need to prepare and set the perfect meal upon the perfect table. The constant need to move while feigning a listening ear.

Yeah, this post, it’s not the one I planned. The pretty picture, the sweet story of all our trees. The laughter, did not feel right any longer.

After coming home, seeing the news scroll across my phone, “five children killed in a school bus accident.”

The story of twenty~nine Christmas trees, not so important any more. All that syrupy sweetness made me physically ill.

As we scurry about, puff out angst while standing in line, pay for our turkey, mentally check off the list. Hurry the cart to the car, slam the bags inside. Do more, more, more.

Bruised and battered souls. Seeking. Not knowing what is we seek.

Busyness will only cover the emptiness. Busyness will not fill the empty.

All the plans, the lists, the hurrying; at the end of the day we have missed the most important things.

The ones left dealing with twisted metal intruding, robbing life, I feel the burden of their empty places at the table. Their taste for turkey with all the trimmings, gone.

As we sit at the table, give thanks, mothers, fathers, grandparents, will bury children. This season will be marked forever on their aching hearts.

If asked, I imagine they would tell us, they wish they had just slowed down.

Slowed down. Lingered in the moments. Listened closer. Practiced presence over performance.

That all the ceaseless activity did not amount to a hill of beans. That the empty place at the table cuts deep.

The gaping whole in their broken hearts.

Wishing for just one more moment, one more do~over.

“Life can’t be about being good enough, but instead believing there is God enough-God enough for whatever our own humanity needs grace for.” ~Ann Voskamp from The Broken Way

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness…

~Psalm 30:11 KJV


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Gifts of Grace