Red Potatoes and Red Wine
Tonight we danced to Eric Clapton on our deck while two steaks sizzled on the barbeque. I haven't been very happy lately. Just the weight of all this, and the weather has been gloomy, and my routine feels looser in some ways and completely overwhelming in others. I also feel, as a pastor’s wife, the panic that someone is falling through the cracks right now. Phone calls and video chats only go so far.
But last night, we danced. We had red potatoes and red wine with our steak, and we watched one of our favorite TV shows until we were both sleepy and ready to crash into bed. It was a late dinner. And a good day. I found myself saying "thank you" under my breath to God more than once. Simple, rather than elaborate, plans are my favorite.
But at 3 a.m. I woke up with a racing heart. I have no idea why, I just felt a sudden fear of being without Evan. Of living alone in this house. Of losing him. I started thinking about how, if he died, I would lock all the doors and ignore phone calls and just sleep for days, with the windows covered up by dark blankets. And how I would probably need to give at least one friend a key, so she could feed my dog. And then I stopped myself, and breathed my way back to sleep.
When you have experienced loss, the best things in life feel the most fragile. Sometimes, the what-ifs snowball out of control, and we have to remind ourselves that we are in this moment, not some imagined future. It’s so hard not to worry. There is always a Christian waiting to shame you for worrying, to quote a dozen verses, and to tell you to stop it. But the truth is, we are human. We have experienced unexpected loss and pain and it’s hard not to wonder, at times, if there is tragedy waiting around the corner.
This pandemic has introduced so many unknowns, and it sparks our fears about other things. Last month, everything seemed normal, and now we are all cooped up in our homes, praying that the next person who dies from the coronavirus isn’t someone we know and love. If you are dealing with extra anxiety lately, you are not alone. Yes, we are supposed to trust God, but He formed us. He knows us, that we are just dust. And He is infinitely more patient and gracious with our failings than we are with one another’s, and with our own.
Elizabeth Elliot once said that we should give God whatever we have in our hands, even if all we have to offer to Him is our grief. Whatever you are feeling today, whether it is joy, uncertainty, depression, hope, worry, or fear, don’t try to hold it alone. Offer it to God. He is strong enough to hold the weight of the whole world’s worries, and He is loving enough to care about every single one.
Listen to this sketch