“I’m old and tired,” he says. “I’ve been listening to one of Gary’s sermon series all week and I don’t know how he does it. I don’t know how a man can preach every Sunday and the words just roll off his tongue. He doesn’t get riled up. He doesn’t let the day to day ups and downs of ministry affect his sermon delivery. He’s smooth. Steady. He’s just gifted.”
I think of the 4 things that I could say to encourage him, but I choose to be quiet. “I know. You miss it don’t you? The preaching, I mean.”
“Yeah, I miss it,” he says, one hand rubbing his head.
He wanders the space between the dining room and kitchen and he is a stream of words.
I make food and I occasionally nod in his direction, but I bite my tongue.
I watch him shuffle across the floor in his old man house shoes and I poke fun at him. He laughs and the tension in the air is lifted for a moment. He turns to put food on the table and it’s there in the kitchen, in my own sort of sanctuary, when I know my 40 days of hush is not just for me.
It’s also for that man who paces the floors in this house.
If I choose to be quiet, to not rush in and say all the things I think I need to say, I make room for God to be God.
I give space for the Fire to breathe.
I wrap my arms around my old and tired man and I silently ask God for a burning bush and then I hush.