I’ve been thick in the midst of copy edits for my book – which is why you’re seeing the weekly post a day or two later than usual and why everything else in my life seems to be on hold for the moment.
Application for after school care for my oldest son in a couple of weeks? On hold.
The article due last week and the other one I swear I’d finish by the 15th? On hold.
All those boxes we’ve yet to unpack, the ones hidden in the closet of the guest room/my office (that we probably don’t even need to unpack at this point and should just drop off at the local Goodwill)? On hold.
By the time these words hit your inbox, copy edits will likely be turned into my editor – and piece by piece, life will slowly start to resume. Space will come, because it always does. Margin will arrive, because that’s just the way it goes.
But in the meantime, I’m forced to ask what I really, actually need in the moment.
I’m tired, because I barely slept the night before: do I need a glass of wine to wind myself down, or do I need to cozy up with a cup of tea, watch an episode of Atypical on Netflix and go to bed early?
I’m cranky, because the editing process is beastly and I wonder if I’ll ever be 100% happy with the final product: do I beat myself up, vicariously taking my frustration out on my kids and on my husband, or do I stop, take a deep breath and put the project on hold until the next morning?I’m lonely, because moving and finding your people takes time: do I sit at home and feel sorry for myself, or do I do something about these feelings of isolation, ask for a new friend’s phone number and extend an invitation to them?
Maybe this comes with the territory, but sometimes coloring outside the lines means learning to stop and pause and listen to your needs.
It makes me think about the conversation Jesus had with Peter: Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me? Jesus kept asking Peter the same question, over and over again, and Peter, more than annoyed that he was being asked the same question, got a little frustrated.
But this question was the question Peter needed to hear, and I don’t think he’s the only one who experienced such a litany of questions.
Right now, there’s a question I’m being asked, over and over again: What do you need? What do you need? What do you need? Perhaps like Peter, it feels like the holiest question of all, like Jesus himself is standing beside me, begging me to give my realest, truest answer.
He’s not asking me what I want, but he’s asking me what I need – and what I need is really rather simple. Rest. Peace. Love. Wholeness, for myself and for the world around me. Justice for those who are hurting, who aren’t able to thrive because already-in-place systems don’t allow for them to thrive. A reminder of the gift of today, a gentle nudge from the Spirit to breathe in and out this one beautiful, fragile life I’ve been given.
So, I ask, is it the same for you?
I’ve got two questions for you: What do you need? What question are you being asked, over and over again?