That was the end of a sentence I read this morning. It was the beginning of a clarity of vision as refreshing as an Autumn breeze after a Savannah summer.
This morning at breakfast I asked my husband what he wanted to do. (We’re struggling with church choices. Feeling split. Tired. Cramped.) In his typical strong passive way he said, “I can go either way.”
Something moved in my heart for him right then.
For once it wasn’t frustration. “Oh would you just decide!”
Or annoyance. “You always dump the choice on me!”
There was no hopelessness. “I married a man who doesn’t give a shit.”
It was tenderness. Real love. No sneaky judgement.
In this moment of silver clarity, I saw the sweep of his story. The baby brother. The youngest twin of a charming sister who bends the world around her story. The little guy. The easy going one. The roll he fulfilled. The safety in letting other louder, pushier, picker people go on with their bad selves. Judging from behind. And I said, “I know you can go either way. Your strength has always been in your adaptability. From the very beginning of your story you were the one who could deal with it. But… don’t just submit to something that works this time. Look deeply. Think honestly. Then choose what grows your soul. Do it for us. Catch as much soul sun as possible and bloom! So that you can be nourished and strong and lead us well. So that you can let me rest in your shade.”
Risk… Risk knowing what you want. Risk understanding what your heart needs to be strong. Risk honesty. Risk awareness. Risk saying, “This. Not that. For me. Because when I am strong, we are stronger.”
This is a powerful call. A dangerous mission. For all of us.
When we know what we need, we risk conflicting with what someone else needs. When we say, “No” we risk collision with someone else’s “Yes.” When we choose, we risk being wrong. It is much safer to say, “Whatever.”
But where does “Whatever” lead us? Really? Calm waters grow dark things. Could it be that when we abandon the work of Risking Honesty and Awareness we consign ourselves to living in a manufactured shell of disingenuousness that doesn’t allow us to grow whole, healthy, straight, strong? The alternative to risking a true knowledge of what Jesus created in our true hearts is to adapt to easy things, like old shoes, that are not a true fit for our souls… because it’s harder to put on a life that fits and supports. Becoming hunched and shriveled from lack of space and light.
Or we could say, “I need… I choose… I feel… I hope… I dream… I pray… I love… I hate… I risk…”
Risk… Risk stretching your arms, your thoughts, your will into even the dark places of your own heart. Open the windows and look inside. There are monsters there. Have no doubt. But there are also treasures. I’m sure. Do it for all of us. When you’re strong, we’re stronger.