The restaurant was only half full but the table was crowded: five adults and four children gathered around two squares pulled together with plates, food, and napkins piled high.
My husband and his brother went to get the drinks and, upon their return, found us all settled in our seats. The only two chairs left were right next to each other, nestled between a four-year-old on one side and me with our not-so-small son on my lap on the other.
The tall brothers hesitated, glancing at one another as if to ask which one of them was going to eat at another restaurant, as no one could possibly expect these two over six-feet-tall men to squeeze into this tiny space, much less eat there with all the elbow action and room a man needs to consume food properly.
They needed space. Technically speaking, the space was there. They could have sat next to each other. They could have made it work. But there would have been no room for a dropped napkin under the table or simultaneous bites, not to mention comfortable conversation
There would have been no room to breathe.
I need room to breathe. I need space in my days and weeks and months to think and mull and ponder. Because when I don’t get it, I start to think things like this:
I wish for a faraway land to live in with my man and my babies, and I wish to live off the fruit of the trees and honey from the hives we tend with our own hands.
I want to walk barefoot in the grass and make sandcastles and read stories and sing.
I wish for my high school hair back with the corn silk curls, and skirts that touch the ground and crowns made of sweet-smelling flowers.
I long for money and chocolate to grow on trees.
I dream of buying a new toilet instead of cleaning my old one.
I wish for a maid, a hairdresser and a chef. And a milkshake. With whipped cream.
And in all of that dreaming, I find myself beginning to worship space. I try to imagine having it and chase after it and all the while it seems to become more and more illusive.
Life is messy and fluid and maddeningly unpredictable. My husband is a youth pastor and I lead a small group of girls and I have three young children and my house gathers dust and the PTA sends me email and my clothes start to stink and I have to meet that deadline. And so do you.
And so in my quest to experience space for my soul, to pin it down and plan for it, I’m hearing a voice reminding me that it isn’t simply space I want. It is a safe place, a haven, a resting place. It is calmness and strength and understanding that I seek. I want to be known fully, loved wholly, accepted unconditionally. That is really what I want.
For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory.
Psalm 32:7Leave a Comment