Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 – The Sixth Wednesday in Lent
I was off yesterday, as I am on most Tuesdays. I pick that day because Monday, the staff at church needs to visit with each other and debrief the previous day’s events at church. What needs planning? What needs following up? What, or who, needs tending? From all the logistics that take place, we try to extract the kingdom moments from Sunday at church. We talk about our conversations, our moments when the divine presence was transparent, how our plans for the day helped people (or didn’t). We laugh a bit with each other, try to cover what we need to, and begin to move on with our week. By the end of the day, it feels like Tuesday could be a day of quiet and rest.
Sometimes, it is. Sometimes, I am not quiet and the day just bleeds from Monday to Wednesday. Sometimes, things come up that need attention and the peace of the day comes from tending to them. Yesterday, I spent the day waiting.
I was waiting for a phone call from an old friend. We had been in touch recently and I had a notion, a feeling really, that my friend might call. I had a number of ‘day off’ things to do, normal, keep-your-life-moving-forward things that involved writing and cleaning and organizing and scheduling. I went about them all at a delightful half-speed. As I moved through the day, I was aware, though, that I was waiting for that call.
As the sun moved east to west, I began to think of the nature of waiting. There are so many different kinds: waiting in line, waiting for the light to change, waiting for the long desired outcome to finally arrive. There is waiting for the new thing: the baby, the chance, the good news. There is the waiting for the undesired outcome and the dread and fear that often tether themselves to that wait. Whatever kind, waiting means being in one place knowing that life will be different when things resolve. The thing–dreaded or welcomed–will be here and then momentum will resume and then things will be ‘normal’ again. I tend to think of the waiting time as wasted or at least less important.
Maybe it’s the most important. Maybe that time in between everything else is when we are most ourselves, not defined by anything else except our own existence and the feeling that comes to us when we realize that. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to wait.
My friend and I will talk soon. When I talk about yesterday, how I had a feeling that we would talk and we didn’t, I’ll be asked what I was hoping would happen in the conversation. I will say that what I wanted to do yesterday was to wait together.
Questions for the day: Do I know what I am waiting for? How would I describe my thoughts and feelings while I wait?
– Christopher Powell