I witnessed from afar. Little boy fell off his bike. I heard his momma respond, "Sit with me. We'll feel better."
Not, "YOU'LL feel better." Or even, "I'll make it better."
WE will feel better.
This verse made me think this is how God responds and listens to us. "As a mother comforts her child so will I comfort you." Isaiah 66:13
"Sit with me. We'll feel better."
While this is technically one of my "running stories" I haven't been running lately. I could list all the excuses in the world. You've probably been there too. I've been going outside and walking, but no sense of purpose or goal in being out there. What I've realized in the last few weeks is I've been running at work. Many plates to turn at the same time. Lots of events, programs and needs to be met. I've been running a sprinting marathon. By the time I get home or move on to the next responsibility, there is no time to slow down.
Quite literally, I have made myself slow down and walk. Now, if you've met me, you know, my walk is a speed walk. Constantly. Whether it is necessary or not. Walking leisurely is work to me. Meet my family or go to a football game with us and you'll learn quickly. You WILL get left behind. We walk with a sense of purpose. In feeling the need to make myself slow down, I have found that going outside and listening to music has helped. I don't normally listen to music when I run. I get wildly distracted by it. Set your playlist. Hear one song which makes you think of another one you like better or would rather listen to. Then, all you can think about is changing the song. Then, you change it and the cycle goes on. The main reason I don't listen to music though is I feel it takes away from paying attention to what is around me. Very honestly, I also don't listen to music because I don't hear well, especially not from behind. It makes me feel unsafe and on edge to constantly feel the need to look over my shoulder. Just to be sure.
Since witnessing the child and momma, God has continued with me, "Sit with me. We'll feel better." Slow down. Take a deep breath.
Do you have a practice to turn to when you're stressed or need to take a break? Take a bath. Take a nap. Read a book. Sit on your yoga mat without doing any actual yoga? Just me? Cool. There is one practice I go to when I feel the need to be a little more intentional in taking a break. I write. Sometimes writing complete sentences is completely overwhelming. So, I sit and wait and write single words.
Breathe. Listen. Hear. Be. Slow. Stop. Quiet. Calm. Hope. Peace.
After a while, when I feel God enter in, those words make their way into sentences. Complete thoughts. Sometimes it is a strange realization to look down and see what I am writing is what God has been trying to tell me. "Sit with me. We'll feel better." As if I am not the only one who needs to feel better.
It is Easter Monday. The day after all the excitement! The day after Jesus has risen! The day after the story's happy ending! The day after. Even if you do not celebrate the religious meaning to this holiday, you can name your own "day after." Finally, after the dark, scary, unknown, terrifying, pain. Finally, after the light at the end of tunnel appears. Finally, after hope is found. Finally, upon reaching clarity. Finally, knowing how it all ends. Finally, feeling the release. Finally, relief. It seems we feel this for a slight moment. Then because we are human, move right along to the next. But, why must I move on? That sense of relief is so good. I wish I could sit in it longer. Feel it as fully and completely on Monday evening as I do while watching the moonset and sunrise on Easter Sunday. Watching the light make it's way through the darkness. Watching and remembering the darkness. The unknown. The worry. Remembering the sense of all hope lost. The way the light hits the trees and makes them known. The warmness of the light on my face. The brightness as it meets my eyes. The brightness is so bright, I have to find shade. The Hope making its slow but sure appearance. The Hope is so overwhelming and clear. The Hope inviting us to breathe it in. The Hope telling us, "Sit with me. We'll feel better."
I'm going to sit with the Hope. We'll feel better.