A glance at the phone told us we’d been sitting here for almost 4 hours. Time flew past, and it was only because the barista dragged the milk bar out to block off our section that I even thought to check the time.
Something happened in that time that opened up my heart again. There I was, hanging out with a friend I didn’t even know that well, and I was talking about things people who’ve known me for years don’t even know about. It felt safe, and I knew I could trust her. It was unhurried.
There’s something in me that wonders if we are losing ourselves in todays pace of life. Maybe I wonder if I’m losing myself sometimes. I mean, when was the last time you found yourself so caught up in the present moment that you totally lost track of time? And were happy about it? When I look back on how my life looked when I was 17/18, it was crazy. I was so busy. Even now, I see I still have a long way to go with finding the right balance for my own sanity. For me it seems to work best in seasons – seasons of intensity and busyness, and seasons of rest and reflection. But it’s undeniable that my heart opens up more when I’m given time to stop, to reflect, to rest. Maybe it’s why I love those words Pico Iyer once wrote, that “ultimately, movement is only as valuable as your commitment to stillness, and vice versa.”
In the quiet this week, I’ve needed people. I’ve needed someone to be a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.
We don’t like needing people, do we?
Our independent, self-sufficient selves come out and fight it. I knew I needed my friend this week, and yet every time I’d send her a text or lie on a sofa watching DVDs with her, my head was fighting it. Telling me I was imposing. Telling me I’m too much.
I think that has to be one of the Enemy’s greatest achievements: convincing us that we shouldn’t lean on others. That we have to face our demons alone.
And yet it is still a struggle to admit that I need people. One of my favourite theologians sang that “we get to carry each other”. Get to. Are privileged to. It always seems easier when you’re on the other side, when you get to carry your friends. It’s much harder when it’s your turn to be carried.
“A good editor draws out what is not said in order to give life to what was aborted before it saw the light of day. We need friends who will name what is unnamed in our story, so that the truth is told. A good editor also helps to ensure that we don’t edit out the truth. And a good editor helps us consider the implications of what our story tells us about ourselves.”
That four hour coffee trip turned into many more conversations, in person and via text message. My friend put words on the turmoil in my heart this week. Spoke words I fear, but needed to hear (and still need to). Don Miller says that conflict is the only thing that ever really moves a story along. Our job is to just hold on, and wait for the master storyteller to reveal the rest…
I know you’ve been going through some things
The pain you hold inside’s written on your face
I know you’ve got tired of the rain
Well, baby, so am I, but I know things can change….