My life these days is sunshine warming my face in my childhood room, mid-morning coffee, memories of soggy streets in South America. Silence lulls me to sleep, along with the smell and burn of menthol on my back and legs. This is home, with its cold autumn air and slow traffic on the streets that never seem to change.
I tell myself that I am not angry, but I am angry.
Anger for me is like a pair of well-worn blue jeans. It fits in a comfortable but sloppy kind of way. I’ve never figured out why I keep shoving it back in my closet.
Hollow is another word that comes to mind. It sounds scary and dark, but it’s not really that. This kind of hollow is just quiet and achy.
I am fumbling for pill bottles, waking up countless times, checking my weight to make sure I’m eating enough. I sometimes lie awake and wonder if God is still around to hear the million sighs I make during the night.
“It could be worse,” is what I say through clenched teeth and a smile.
Those words are true. I am trying to be grateful. It could be worse, so much worse.
But it hurts and is painful and the thing I’m most afraid of is that one more person (including myself) will keep saying something like it’s going to get better. It doesn’t help.
Because right now, I have to sit with God in this.
I have to sit with Him. I just have to sit across this table from Him until we’ve finished this thing He’s preparing for me. I just have to sit here until we’re finished and He picks up the tab. I have to fight the urge to walk off in my impatience. I have to fight the urge to ask someone else to bring me an appetizer to fill this hunger. I have to wait on whatever it is that He says is on the way. It will get better, but I have to stay here for however long the space it between those words will get and better takes.
It aches and it carves its way through my heart in a way that I don’t always know how to talk about. I am disappointed. This place doesn’t have a menu. When I walked in, I didn’t see what I could expect posted in a bold and elegant font. I’m here and the fact that He’s brought me to this table tells me that He intends to fill me, but I can’t really give you much else. I can’t really tell you what that means or how long it’s going to take.
And sometimes my hollow hunger makes me angry, makes me frustrated, makes me wonder if I should have gone elsewhere. Sometimes I bang my fists and tell Him that I don’t even smell anything, that there’s no sign anything is even coming.
But He’s here, we are here and that has to be enough. If we finish 2017 in this booth with mediocre coffee cupped in our hands—it has to be enough. Even if Christmas lights look duller this year and my breath is still labored after simple tasks. If that fortune cookie is a liar and I cry on my twenty-sixth birthday, it has to be enough.
Breath lodged in my throat, shoulders heavy with truth, it has to be enough. Because He invited me to the table. He invites us all and somehow I saw the invitation in the middle of the darkness. Not everyone does and not everyone comes. Not everyone chooses this table and I’ve seen the pain in both His and their eyes when they sit somewhere else.
There is a table and we are here. For now, for both of us, I think it is enough.