It’s late afternoon and the sky is already turning shades of evening. The drizzle and faint thunder make me think of snow.
My kids would love snow this year. ,
I sit at the dining room table, in the center of the house. All of my people move about the room, dragging their things into my space, disrupting the quiet I’ve tried so hard to carve out for myself.
Candles flicker on the table in front of me and I’ve read somewhere that candles are necessary for quiet spaces, so I burn 12.
For 2 weeks, I’ve made excuses not to write here.
To hole up and hunker down.
To be quiet.
To preserve self, by saying as little as possible.
To close the blinds and put on an extra layer of clothing.
To not be so honest.
We gather for Christmas dinner and I watch him sneak out onto the porch to take a phone call. We pray without the pastor and I feel my hands tremble as I dish out sweet potatoes and corn.
“Well, we’ve lost him,” he says as he sticks his phone into his pocket. “It’s OK. He needs to be with the man who has discipled him. It’s the best thing for him,” he says, with a small, smile on his face.
I die, just a little, right there, standing in the middle of my mama’s kitchen.
And it’s this, the leaving of one more, that I’ve been waiting for. Expecting.
I knew, we both knew, we would lose this one, the one who stood around our fire, just 8 days ago, and shared his story. His story of one small life and one Great God and all of us that heard his every word were changed. We tucked his story into our hearts and felt knit up together in the grand story of God.
And now, we lose even this one.
This ripple of pruning continues and it hurts.
So I wear quiet like a shield and I lay brick around my heart…
And I wait for the Christ child, for He alone will steady my heart and tear down this wall I build…