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Friday, July 8, 2016

Some Jumped, Some Were Pushed

My beloved wife wrote this recently. I have her permission to share it here.

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Some jumped, or fell, or were pushed. I’m not really sure. It’s hard to know what caused their flight –their own decision or others-but it’s not hard to see that they are no longer here. I can’t say if they landed safely. Some before them did. Some did not.

I’m here, near the ledge, sometimes about to go over-slipping mostly reluctantly down. I did not run to the ledge, not this time. I was dragged. Pulled by those who think they know me. They think they know me yet what they know is a perception of me. A figment of some cobbled together claims.

They don’t know how the troubles around the place keep me up at night. They don’t know the times I chose them over rest, sanity, and the best good of a few dear ones. They don’t know of the ones who trust me, confide in me, need me to be as Jesus to them when they can’t find Jesus themselves in the mess of living. They don’t know their dragging/pushing has led to me pushing even God away at times. The One Who Knows can be hard to know at the ledge. It’s hard to know if there is more of God behind me or more of God before me.

They don’t know what worries me or what distresses me or what disturbs me. They don’t know that I stubbed my toe and broke my heart on the way this time. They don’t know how long it took those to heal last time.

They don’t know the number of times I limped myself to the ledge to wait and wonder. They don’t know, not really, the other time or two or more someone dragged me to the ledge and pushed me a bit waiting for me to fall off. Likely they don’t know the number of times I stepped or hobbled back and suited up anyway. Or that I kept writing the reports and answering the phones and the emails and shepherding the people because those were the things that needed done.

I kept doing the thing that I had to do because I am me.

Yet, they’ve pulled or pushed me to the ledge and left me here. I turn back to look at them but I can barely see them for how far back from me they’ve retreated. I can barely make them out and I’m sure they can’t hear me asking if they intend for me to jump. I agree with their retreat, the ledge is a scary place to be—uncertainties abound.

There are days I’m closer to the ledge, the ground around me skittering off down into who knows where or maybe to Who Knows What.

It’s not the pushy ones who pull me back. A few of them seem to be causing a wind that would send me over the ledge. 

It’s not the uncertainty after the ledge that keeps me from going over. Even at the ledge I’m convinced that is my place. Yet my conviction gets smaller with each bit that goes over or gets pushed or blown over.

I’ve heard some insist that the ledge does not exist. That there is only here and not here. I question their vision. Disavowing the ledge does us no good. I’m certain there’s a ledge. I’ve been on it. Others have been to the ledge. Some for a moment, then they slip/jump/tumble/leap/fall over. Some for a moment, then they run back to the stable ground too terrified of what might be. Some stay longer at the ledge, waiting to be called back or for their tight grip to be pried off the ledge one finger at a time. Some work days and nights over there but are still at the ledge in spirit.

It can be lonely at the ledge. It can be lonely even on the stable ground. I imagine it’s lonely even after the ledge.

If you’ve run to the ledge or if you’ve been dragged to the ledge or if you’ve limped to the ledge, look around. I’m there too. I’ll sit with you if you want, looking either behind or beyond. I’ll probably be near for a while. I can listen to your story, but I can’t tell you whether to go over or go back.



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