Pausing to Breathe

November GrayThe November rain continues to fall here in Minnesota. I hear the swishes and splashes of the water kicked up by the cars on the road in front of the house. The dreary gray seems to linger on past its welcome. Even as I long for the sun, I comfort myself with the thought that the tulip bulbs we planted will appreciated the water.  And on days like today, nature weeps the tears that I cannot.

We found out this morning that Delores, Dedo, as we called her, died last night. I feel stunned. Shell-shocked. Of the things I expected for the week, going to her funeral was not even on my radar. Death strikes again. Even as I’m confident death isn’t the last word in her story or mine, the loss still burns.

The clouds have settled in, and I can do little but wait for them to clear. Wait and see what the next day will bring.

While I wait, I make soup for dinner — Mrs. Wagner’s chicken tortilla soup to be exact (the recipe came from my college roommate’s mom). It’s not healthy, but it is warm, spicy comfort in a bowl. It’s like a hug for my insides. When life gets to be a bit too much for us, J and I make this soup, and it fortifies our resolve to carry on. It helps us campers to buck up.

And as part of that bucking up, I’m taking a time out this evening. I’m hitting a pause on listening to the “should” voices and the voices with all the right answers to the world’s problems. I’m weary of sanctimonious. I’m weary of the voices that shame others. I’m weary of word battles every place that I turn to read on the Internet. I’m weary of my own voice. And maybe I’m just flat out weary.

Tonight I’m curling up with a blanket, the dog and some sad Audrey Assad tunes (namely Show Me on repeat).

Jesus, you have my life and you can do with it what you like. But for right now, let me lay here, while you breathe me back to life. We’ll take on the world again tomorrow. Please.

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