The sun was up, and bits of beautiful blue could be seen through scuttling clouds that drifted overhead. Some rainclouds, preparing to let loose another wave of saturation. Some like mounds of cotton soft enough to jump on.
It’s been a busy fall. John has already been on several trips and has had a lot on his mind with work responsibilities and thinking on family issues that are all part of being a husband, Dad, and Papa. I’ve been people-busy, my happy place. But for both of us, we have felt somewhat drained.
We sat. Quiet at first. Both focused on the beautiful tree in our back yard, looming over lawn and pond.
So much life in that tree.
We haven’t had that much time together lately. Certainly not to talk, to share what was going on in our hearts. But neither of us was in a hurry to speak.
For me, that’s as unusual as it gets. I’ve more words than anyone wants to listen to.
John began with a few questions, genuinely interested in what had been going on at home and with me. It took me a bit by surprise.
I’m the one who usually asks the questions. To have the table turned on me was unsettling.
So I asked him a question.
He didn’t let me get away with that. Patiently, he asked again.
It wasn’t easy to answer. I began giving him a rundown of my week. What I’d accomplished.
He shook his head. “How are you doing?”
I stared at our tree, its sweeping branches spreading wide, always a picture to me of strength and comfort. So much life goes on in and around that tree.
I tried to focus on the life that goes on inside and around me. It’s so easy to direct my attention to what I’ve done, what’s coming up, who I met with.
I had to be quiet to consider how I was doing.
John waited. Patient and interested.
I was able to get past stuff to who I was, what was in my heart. When I returned the favor and asked him, he was able to connect to his heart as well.
Conversations so often focus on the doing, accomplishments, purposes. To consider how our hearts are can take time.
God chooses to have those deep conversations with us. Not just what we want or need from Him, but how we’re really doing in our souls. In talking to Him, it’s easy to say words without really connecting. Without being still to listen to how He’s responding.
Because He does answer. In His Bible and in our thoughts. When ideas come to mind, impressions poke at our brains, we become aware of new concepts that we’d not considered before.
He speaks. It’s the listening that becomes hard. Quieting the noise around us so we can hear. Shutting down the busyness so we can think.
Just like our tree, God is present, and so much life happens because of Him.