She relays the information almost mechanically. Somewhere behind the words are the tears.
She is scared.
I am scared for her.
Her husband is sick. Very sick. Could die sick.
She doesn’t say it, but I hear it in what she doesn’t say. It’ll take a miracle.
I have nothing. I refuse to tell her somehow God will make it okay because it is not okay.
She is not okay.
I am not okay.
At that moment in time, nothing is okay.
And I have nothing. No words. No hug. No….anything.
Except, I do, and I walk myself right into the throne room of my Daddy and look into His face, and as she talks aloud, I talk silently.
“Surely You did not take me through that to leave me with nothing to help with. Surely that hell served no purpose. I need something. Her world is crumbling, and she needs somewhere to land, if only for a moment. Please, Daddy, give me something to give her.”
No booming voice. No big production. Just a quiet thought of what I would have wanted…what I still sometimes want.
“Are you busy?” I ask.
Well, she has some plans. Needs to take care of some things. Trying to fumble through life’s quicksand.
“Do you want to come over here?”
Not really. She needs to handle some stuff, tick things off her check list…feel some sense of control and enjoy the escape while doing it.
“What is your favorite beer?”
Her voice says she is confused, but she tells me anyway.
I write it down.
“Okay. This is what we are going to do. I’m going to buy that beer and have some of it cold from now until we get to the other side of this. Whenever you need to, you come over here. We are going to sit on the deck. You can scream and rage about how unfair this is, about how this stinks, about how you don’t understand, about how it hurts more than you could EVER dream, about how you have no clue how you are going to get through, about how angry you are, about all those things you would never unleash to anyone else. My house and my deck is your safe place to say whatever you want, use whatever language you want, to drink however much you want. I will either take you home, or you can sleep in the guest room. Whatever. But this is where you can come and be real. There is no judgment, no answers, and no pressure to be better. Whatever you need to be—even if it is silent, you can be it here.”
I hear it in the silence. That inhale that comes in the silence of a breath caught between the smile of gratitude and the sobbing of being found.
“You really do understand, don’t you?”
I swallow the tears so words will come. “Yes. I really understand.”
Quiet comes, and we sit with phones to ears, hearts together.
“I need to get busy, so I’ll let you go," she finally says.
I tell her to have a good day, I love her, I’m praying, I’ll keep the beer cold.
“I love you, too.” That is the first smile I’ve heard in her voice…and it is real.