Long after the kids have crawled into bed, we talk shop.
Not shop as in his 7-5 and my 6:40-5:30, but shop as in the church.
He’s reading Center Church and I’m dreaming MOPS and there’s this street we live on called Avent, that most days, eats our lunch.
So we don’t talk shop often.
We live shop.
And this living shop suffocates us if we give it much room to lean in too tightly.
But tonight, the sleet pounds outside on the pavement and we’re huddled up inside, leaving the space between the talking and the living shop just a sliver.
So we stick our toes into that sliver and we sit a spell.
“What are you thinking?” I ask him. It’s our question for each other when silence hangs in the air, the unspoken words not yet tied together.
He looks up from his book. “The church,” he says.
I wish I hadn’t asked as soon as he says it.
“What about the church?” I ask, sticking my whole foot into that sliver of space.
He shrugs his shoulders. “The whosoever wills and the whosoever want tos,” he said. “I’m wondering if we’re just a church full of whosoever want tos. You know, the ones who come to everything, but take nothing and run with it. The want-tos. Are we that kind of church?”
I sigh from my place on the couch, his words hanging heavy in the room. I shrug my shoulders with him.
He’s not looking for an answer so I let his words hang there.
I watch him as he chews on the end of his reading glasses and I memorize the side of his face, the way his eyes crinkle in the corners, even when he’s not smiling.
He’s lost in his book and I’m lost in dreaming and for the moment, I pick up the number of years that have passed between us.
I like to think of us at 19, when the whole world seemed wide open and Rocky Mount was just my hometown. We were wild and reckless and foolish. And we were crazy in love with the idea of being in love. Time would fly into the night sky and sit right alongside the stars while we sat on the steps of Grey dorm stealing tomorrow’s minutes. We would laugh into the darkness and talk marriage and babies and ministry and all things Baptist.
Mainly, because that’s all we knew to talk about .
We dreamed big and audacious things, hoping that Jesus would find a way to make Himself known in our midst and through our lives, never giving thought to the in-between times, those times filled with babies and bills and unfilled longing.
We never considered that the bulk of our lives would be spent in the in-between.
This morning, the wind whips in sideways, scattering last night’s snowy mixture across the deck and I make coffee.
The sunlight glistens from the eaves that hang from the back side of the house and I stand in the light it casts across the floor. It’s warm against my wool socks.
The babies sleep late and the Man and I soak up some minutes alone. It’s a half-snow day and he’s not due at the office for a few more hours.
He eats toast and reads Galatians while I catch up on email. We grin at one another from our ends of the table, relishing in the in-between moment,
Until the phone rings at a little before 8.
“Hey- can you chat about MOPS?” she asks. “I watched the video. I’m all in.”
And for the briefest of moments, I stick one toe into this sliver of a dream and give thanks for a whosoever will.
And then I resume my place at the end of our table, and live the in-between.
*Some of you have asked about the pictures I post here- On Sunday afternoons, while the kids escape to the yard, I drive over the railroad tracks and poke around for something that catches my eye. And I’ve learned that if I go looking for something pretty, pretty usually makes an appearance. I use a Nikon D3100 that I really don’t know how to use, but I’m learning. If you get a chance, you should drive downtown. You might find it refreshingly beautiful.