Grateful.

IMG_1352“I’m tired,” I said. “There is a huge gap between what I have energy for and what I want to do.”

Nancy was upstairs in her office. Paul and I were downstairs in my office, drinking tea. I was doing my best to focus, but 21 hours in two days at the hospital had left me feeling uncreative.

“What do you want to do,” Paul asked after a bit.

“I want to pick up where we left off last week. You were saying ‘Then, after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem.’ I want to explore that, to talk with you about how that compares to the timeline in Act 15. But that would talk some time to unpack. And I don’t think I have the energy to make it clear.”

Paul smiled. “It’s a challenge, I know, to take two different accounts, written for different reasons, and make them fit. As if there is some reason to make them fit.”

I started to reply. He shook his head.

“But you are right,” he said. “You don’t have the energy tonight. Let’s talk about something else. Tell me about your conversations during the past two days. What was so tiring?”

“I stood with a family while they watched their patriarch die. I talked with a person about what it would mean for her best friend to die. I talked with a woman about what she most wants before she dies. I talked a lot about life and death.”

“Do you hate it?” Paul asked.

“Death?”

“No. Having to talk with people about really hard parts of life.”

I thought a bit. “I don’t hate it. I’m grateful for the opportunity to sit and listen and pray and hug. It’s an opportunity to help. But I get frustrated with wasting worry on the really easy parts of life.”

We sat quietly for a bit.

“Especially when I’m the one wasting worry,” I said.

“So be grateful,” Paul said.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.