He answers and I open the door. Shaving cream covers his chin and Iwatch as he runs the blade of the razor through the water.
“I just need a minute. Some space,” he says.
I retreat from the little room with the book that I read while I dry my hair and I pull the door closed as I leave.
I rest my head on the bathroom door and I listen to the music of splashing water and the words he murmurs towards heaven. I close my eyes and I know what he’s thinking and what he’s saying to Jesus and I bite my bottom lip in response to his soul angst.
Late afternoon sun flickers on the table in our bedroom where his Bible and things rest in a perfect pile. His sermon notes are tucked neatly into the Bible and my heart skips a beat at the sight of them. I love his handwriting. His loops and whirls are scrawled across pages of white and I have a whole drawer full of his beautiful words written for me before we got married.
I treasure them as part of our legacy to our children.
I stand at the door for a long few minutes and words echo in my mind…
” but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:7
It was at our dress rehearsal, the night before the two of us became one, when our pastor spoke these words to me.
They come to me now, in the moment when I want to be able to say the right thing to the man behind the door. I let them speak to me now and I choose the quiet.
I say nothing.
He loads the truck with the church things and he makes 3 trips back and forth across the front steps. I hold the front door and I wonder how in the world simple church requires so many black bags of equipment.
We land in Colossians again tonight and he wraps up the sermon while sitting on a stool. I think he’s at his best when he opens his own heart and speaks off script.
I listen to him and he gestures with his hands and I know his own words rattle his own brain and I hear him say this:
“Paul, while sitting in a jail cell, was impressed by the Holy Spirit to do the only thing he could do to further the church: he wrote letters. He could not rely on his oratory skills or his charisma to compel others to follow Christ. He had to trust God with his quiet words in the form of a letter to do what He saw fit to do to build His church. I am in my own sort of cell, for 5 days every week, managing a warehouse. I don’t have a surplus of hours to disciple all the people I want to disciple. I don’t have 25 hours to spend on a sermon. I don’t even have time to rely on my amazing leadership skills that I mastered while in Dallas to grow this church,” he says with a grin. “But I believe my year spent managing this warehouse has been a gift. It has disabled me, the master of plate spinning and doing more faster and better. It has created within me, an absolute dependence on God to do it all.”
I watch the man on the stool while he prays and I know that my own spirit is not the only one being hushed.
I smile and my quiet soul leaps just a little.
All of this hushing is quite freeing.