Thursday, April 12, 2012

Help, I Need Cover!

Standing in my kitchen, I looked down at the floor, unable to meet my children's eyes.  They waited in silence.  At times like these (for this was not the first), I wonder what they think about me.

"Does she have the slightest clue what to do right now?"
"Why doesn't she just....?" (Fill in the blank, because kids always know what they want you to do.)
"I wish she would just say something."
"Is she even thinking at all?"

Their wills and mine had hit with a resounding clash, and I'd simply called a halt to all our speaking. Arguing, debating, reasoning - whatever you want to call the "discussions" we were locked in, each from opposing sides - they were getting us nowhere.  And the fact is, sometimes I just don't know where to take us from that point.  Everything seems to be flying around like pots and pans swirling through the air with bangs and clatters.  But I do know one thing for certain.  I will be the one to take the lead.  So I looked at the ground and let thought after thought run through my mind, chasing away the craziest ones first.

Two visions stuck out in particular.  One was that of Jesus kneeling on the ground and writing in the sand as the Pharisees waited impatiently for Him to pronounce judgement upon the woman caught in adultery.  The other was an image, I believe it might have been Sarah Edwards, wife of the evangelist Jonathon Edwards.  She would sit at her kitchen table with a towel covered over her head in prayer at moments throughout her day.  The children knew not to disturb her during this time, either handling their disputes that came up in a reasonable way themselves or holding them until Mother was once again available to address them.  These pauses for prayer and consideration in the midst of chaos were just what I needed to remember.  How I wished I had some sort of prayer shawl to pull over my head just then, to hide behind as I sought to meet with my Savior.

I'm not talking burkas or anything here, just a sort of physical means of "time-out" so I can sort through some of this and know where to go from here.  Lacking the fitting accoutrement of such a calming shade behind which to veil myself, I simply brought my hands up to my face and covered it. I lifted up my problem and asked for help, direction, and strength.  Peace descended to clear and cool my racing thoughts.  After a while, I lowered my hands and was able to speak with composed clarity, but more than that my heart was at rest.  So maybe my kids thought I was loco for a few minutes, but I'm pretty sure I'm onto something here.  

Perhaps I ought to begin leaving a shawl in every room from now on.

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  1. Love this. I don't have kids, but I used to teach and I remember those moments when the kids 'knew' they had gone too far. Everyone was silent in anticipation wondering what was coming. :) I like the shawl idea for hubbys too. He might appreciate my silence once in a while. :)

    1. Couldn't we all benefit from something like this? I'm more of an introvert myself, so I've always sought moments of silence. And you're right, all relationships are better for knowing when it is best to simply hold your tongue - at least for a while. ;D

  2. I go to my basement floor-this is my prayer closet, my sack cloth and ashes the lowest spot in the house and HE meets me there. :)

  3. Don't have a basement - although there is a crawl space under the house.... nah, any chance of spiders would wig me out. ;D I've sometimes utilized my small walk-in closet. There's enough room to get down on my face.

    The thing is, sometimes I don't really want to excuse myself. So for moments when I need to go deep and withdraw inwardly (but still in their presence) something else is required.

    Thank God for basements, closets, even hands to hide behind - clefts in the Rock.