{Just Like Me: Being Introverted in the Church}

dylan 2If I could have demanded anything

for my shy and wary child,
would I have begged God

make him less cautious?

Would I have wasted
a wish, a prayer, even a thought
on that part of my personality that I hate

and have come to
tolerate.

Make him less afraid.

Make him less

like me: petrified, wooden, shaken, sick to my stomach
terrified.

Though I hate it about myself,

could I possibly hate this

in

my son?

How is this conceivable?
My baby, my flesh, my skin and bones
always crawling away from people

just like me.

I have learned, when the extroverted-overjoyed-inner-glowing-pastor says almost gleefully to
turn to our neighbor, I don’t immediately
run. I have learned.

Still, the bathroom is a cool, echoing, quiet and comforting place just then;
and I can hear
my heart exploding inside me.  Blood pumping, rushing to all extremities.
The fear rushes about me, like pixies dancing, mocking,
Silencing me.

When extroverted-overjoyed-inner- glowing-pastor says:

this is love

I think
I may puke, not because I want to puke
mind you. (What kind of fool would want to throw up in church?)

But.
seriously

when will church life be easier for introverts?  And how to tell my kid,
that forcing him to attend Church events is virtuous?

It’s for your own good.

How? I’m thinking.
How? He’s asking.

This isn’t faith, I know. This isn’t my religion.

What’s an introverted mom to do?

Teach him to run?

The answer lies somewhere in between.  Even
with programs bent on making you
fit

your circle shaped heart into their

square pegged hole of a program.

Still, love wins
when you risk.  And for us introverts, some days that’s

just showing up.

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{Stretching the Canvas of our Imagination}

Silence
Silence

I’ve tried to sit down and read all day.

Instead I’ve placed phone calls to doctors, waited impatiently for return calls from nurses about supplements and medication’s interactions, and run twice to pharmacy and grocery store.  And, on it goes. One child threw up this morning. Another is dealing with headaches of the magnitude that you or I would be in bed – a 9 on a scale of 1 -10.  Children should not have to suffer so and as I deal with the litany of doctors, I am trying to be the advocate for the whole person who is my child. And be gracious.

I ate my third meal in as many days and just for a minute sipped ginger ale and will write this, Though I’m not technically sick (Moms don’t do that) I am unwell.  The headaches and body aches with this particular virus are awful.  Eating feels like an X sport.

I’ve been trying to read all day and life keeps getting in the way.

As the holidays come rushing, with the “extra” everything on the calendar, this small task will only become more difficult – there will be concerts, school projects, plays, shopping, and parties,there will be more of everything.

And I’ve tried to slow down and read because I know its important to make IT stop. 

It’s essential, I think, to get up even earlier or stay up little later, just to BE. 

We need it. To read that something, or to pray a little, or to write a poem or whatever we do “to stretch the canvas of our imagination”. We need to listen to meaningful music or place a phone call to an important friend or stop and say I love you. To write that letter of appreciation to someone that you perhaps wanted to do at Thanksgiving but didn’t get around to. It’s important to do those things in a whirlwind life full of obligations and duty, or service to others, or personal illness, or whatever our life entails.

It’s essential to make it all stop, especially during December to slow, and celebrate. Advent is about waiting – anticipating, leaning in, listening, and keening toward the Holy One.  This takes intention.

All day, I’ve been trying to start a small little book by Enuma OkoroSilence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent.   And finally, I have begun.  In the introduction she reminds us what it means to cultivate patience. We walk along side Zechariah and Elizabeth and learn from them.

In Silence, she says: “The hard work of Advent reflection and waiting is mingled with the gift of time and space to dream new dreams, to bathe in pools of hope, and to stretch the canvas of our imagination wide enough for God to paint God’s own visions for our lives.”

What one thing are you trying to do this holiday season to slow yourself down, reflect and do the holy work of waiting?  How will you wait?

Will you allow the Holy One to paint a new vision for your life?

Melody

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