Looking at the ink bottle on my desk labeled Encre, I wondered how long it had been since I had written with any of my fountain pens or quills. The pigmentation had dropped to the bottom of the glass container leaving the top clear. It was a perfect reminder of silt, that fine sand and earthy matter only moved by running water.
People have a capacity for memories that can be likened to holding ponds. The memories lay still until a storm or inflow of movement stirs them up. To keep a pond healthy there has to be a way to introduce fresh water from a feeding stream or a good rain. Without these resources the pond stagnates, inviting less than desirable mosquitoes and pond scum. The storms that bring fresh water to these ponds also stir up the silt. The water takes on a murky quality for a while but it always passes and the silt is moved along.
I picked up the ink container from my desk to shake it up. Sitting it back down I began to watch and wonder.
Zap! The shock made me jump and shake my hand. “Wow, that got me good” I thought and slammed my door shut. I looked at the scarf I was wearing. Although it may have been keeping me warmer it wasn’t helping me relax much. Everything I touched kept trying to electrocute me. I wondered if this was what a cattle prod might feel like but didn’t dwell on the thought for more than a second because my time was valuable.
I hadn’t been home in a couple days other than to visit my pillow for a brief stint and my refrigerator was quite barren. It lacked even the bare minimum of soda for the hubby or fresh coffee beans for myself. Caffeine lack could lead to issues in our household so this was not a neglect I could afford.
I maneuvered my cart down the aisles of the store as though I was some Nascar amateur, barely missing the slow movers and even cutting off the lethargic teen who meandered one step too slow, beating him to the express lane. I’m pretty sure it was his jeans worn down around his thighs and not on his waist, which hindered his ability to walk normal.
In all my distraction and hurry however, I saw no one who smiled nor acted pleasant. My checkout clerk even gifted me with an extra snide comment when I asked her a question. Listening to Christmas music playing throughout the store and seeing evergreen trees stacked out front had given me an expectation for seasonal cheer, but this was more like the Ebenezer Scrooge experience. Time to bring my own cheer to the season rather than expect it from my surroundings.
The space just wasn’t big enough for my head! Ever felt that way? I’m not talking about an ego thing. Merely the spaciousness of a really large mental table to put all your thoughts out before you, so you can examine them in depth. You know…throw the frivolous thoughts into the trash and try to piece together the jigsaw puzzle so you could see the actual picture with clarity. That precious picture you know you carry in your head. You could see it if you only had the room to look at all the pieces at once. You know your destiny is in that puzzle and you are so curious to see what it really looks like upon completion. It’s your vision, given only to you. A private thing really, but a precious thing.
Proverbs 29:18a (TWB) Where there is no vision, the people perish
“Let me know the wonder of all of you” rolled out of my speakers. I had to walk away but the echo stayed with me. So many relationships of friends, family and possible love interests came to mind. Had I found the wonder of them or did I grow tired of the chase?
What does it take to captivate us when the newness wears off? When the day to day reality becomes common? We are so fickle in our attention span and yet we desire so much more. I think the key in any relationship is to avoid “common”. When we approach things without anticipation or excitement it’s impossible to desire the more that’s available to us. Our relationships should be the most precious thing on earth and yet we rarely invest into them with the same passion we long to take from them.
“Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us. ” Marianne Williamson
A couple of paragraphs into the guy’s conversation and it was obvious he didn’t know what he wanted or needed. When I tried to narrow down the scope of his problem he snapped at me and said, “You’re not listening!” This actually took me back for a moment. I’m not impervious to anger and I could feel my face flush. A funny thing happened though, I shut up and let him talk on and on. Finally he asked me if I was still there, to which I replied, “Yes, I’m listening.”
I have many conversations like this due to the nature of my job but today this caught my attention. It made me think about how often our problems probably can’t be solved by someone at the end of a phone, but what if you are the only one in that moment to offer any hope of a possible solution?
The guy actually tagged me pretty good, because I only wanted specific details and he wanted to tell a tale beyond what I required. In the end I couldn’t help him with what he needed which is what I had surmised from the very beginning. Instead, he helped me learn something more about the hearts of people. In every situation we need hope and someone to really listen to what we are troubled about. However major, however minor, we are hoping for someone who really cares.
“Whenever we turn to look at ourselves, we are immobilized and cannot advance; but if we look at the light of God, we will unconsciously move ahead”……Watchman Nee