What I Heard in The Great Pause

One of my own life’s chronic themes is living at a pace that dances on the line between impressive effectiveness and self-sabotaging burnout. So The Great Pause of 2020 was both terrifying and enchanting for me. Beside the initial fear and awe, and the weight of the unknown, there were eventually waves of emotions and thoughts arising that surprised me.

Did you sit still long enough to see the ones beside you?

Long before 2020 unleashed its weirdness on us, we were in a prolonged hectic season of life throughout 2019. In the weeks leading up to the safer at home orders, we were simply heads down – go, go, go – as a family. And go we went – right into the brick wall that was Coronavirus Shutdown.

At first there was the panic of logistics. Getting the rhythm of new sanitation rules figured out, online school routines established, work schedules adjusted for all the at-home-ness, and on and on. But then, there was a glorious moment, many weeks in, when we realized how much we’ve settled into it. And we looked at the ones next to us as if to say, “Hello. I see you now.” Some of the frenetic energy left when it was just us four in a prolonged time here, in our home. I saw my kids settle down in a way we haven’t seen before. I didn’t realize how much we needed to stop. For that alone I am grateful.

Did you hear your own thoughts again?

My heart has been in full contemplation mode of late. Life is still busy, but somehow its different. Its not the same kind of busy, more of a simple busy, so my thoughts are a bit more free to consider the events of the season and the responses of my heart. It’s a sacred and raw moment of clear wondering.

It has been a surprise to me that this moment of heart awareness has also become a moment of unearthed pain. It’s an honest moment. Is this contributing to the rise of our collective memory of pain and injustice that America is giving voice to in this moment? I suspect so. For I see the voicing and releasing of pain on racial fronts as well as other abuses of power.

In the last week I’ve heard from a group from my past that is also finding a voice for our shared suppressed pain. Its an odd, unlooked for experience and the timing, in the midst of The Great Pause, seems all too suspect. We are hearing our hearts again and pursing healing from times when our leaders did not protect us, let alone love us. And its happening now because we have time and space to feel it again.

In this space, do we now have ears for a certain still yet small voice?

From a posture of quiet and wonder I’m starting to have clear eyes. The pain of the past, though coming up, is coming up and OUT. Up and out into the Lord’s waiting hands. Its something I no longer need to harbor. I’m more interested in clear vision and listening ears.

I think the Lord is still speaking through it all. Through COVID-19, through economic hardship, through racial injustice, through abuse of ministry and through whatever your 2020 has looked like so far. And the strange thing is, His voice is not saying what we always thought it might say. Its a different conversation. I’m vague in describing this, I know, but this feeling is vague with me still. I sense the words being spoken are not the responses we are used to. And in all the yelling that is going on, I’m leaning in and craving to hear the quiet voice instead.

The quiet new rhythms, graces and expectations are fresh. I’m not eager to return to how it was. Even though we’re now opening up, when we return home, I literally sigh with contentment to be back here in this safe space, where I’m learning to see and hear. Maybe it’s different for you? That’s alright. But don’t miss what is meant for us for good in this Great Pause.

Photo by Geordanna Cordero on Unsplash

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