Sunday, August 26, 2018

Busy is a liar.

The last 36 hours for me have been insurmountably busy. Emotionally, spiritually, physically and personally--all of it like a whirlwind of moments stacked on top of one another in a giant, endless pile. Juggling time for myself and my commitments with the needs of my family and others has been challenging. It's been a lot.

But not impossible.

The older I get and the more I live, the more I realize that it IS possible for busy people to keep a space open in their hearts for concern for others.


Yesterday a sorority sister of mine reached out to check on me about something I'd asked her to pray about before. She's busy, too. So that wasn't lost on me.

Another time, my friend David flew all the way back to Atlanta from Philadelphia where he'd just moved three weeks before to attend my sister's memorial service. And, because we are good friends, I knew how chaotic his life was at that time. I did. And I never forgot that.


So recently, someone I care about has been navigating a tough time with a sick loved one. And I have been fortunate to walk with her a little bit during this difficult time. A lot of it has transpired in the last 36 hours, too. The epicenter of the same crazy 36 hours that I have been muddling through myself.

At the end of my rounds yesterday, I got a text from that friend. I slipped away from the hustle bustle of the hospital into an empty-ish stairwell. I sat down right on the stairs and, in the middle of my busy day, called my friend. I listened to her talk. I said a few things and then let her go tend to the needs of her family. After that, I scooped it all up and tucked it into my heart for safekeeping.

Then I went back to my work. The whole thing took five minutes.

Listen--nobody can be present for everyone. And Lord knows I drop the ball sometimes and that I have to draw lines somewhere. But what I also know is that it's so easy to trick ourselves into thinking that we're too busy to be emotionally available for those we care about. Or that it doesn't matter when we aren't. I now know for sure that this just isn't true. And that it doesn't even take as much time as I once thought.


Sure--sometimes showing up involves planes, trains, and automobiles. But other times? It just involves plopping down on a metal step in a stairwell, just a little bit of effort, and a decision to stop for a few seconds to remember someone in real time.

Once you live long enough and go through enough, you know that it makes a difference. You do.



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