This post is a rerun from March 15, 2011. Six years on, I’m still struggling with stillness. So I’m reading this again today. Perhaps you’ll find it helpful, too.
I’m struggling to be still these days. Too many things to fix. Too many problems to solve. Too many waves, too much wind. I’m in the boat, shaking Jesus. I want to know that he knows we are all drowning.
She wasn’t old enough for a funeral. No one is, I suppose, but 47 years old with two daughters under nine isn’t old enough for a funeral.
I sat in the balcony. I was the sound guy. I played a couple CDs, songs that had mattered during her struggle with breast cancer. I ran the recorders, video and audio, so that the children someday can hear what people said about their mom when the grief was fresh, when the memories were acute. Recordings so the dad, numb now, can hear about the wife he treasured.
When I am the tech guy, I am mindful of transitions, of the gaps. I am aware of a desire for things to move smoothly, efficiently, through the order. I hear every pause as something to fill.
I watched my friend and pastor, the funeral master of ceremonies. I noticed this afternoon that he was different than he had been that same morning. In the morning he preached. Intense. Passionate. This afternoon he was deliberate. In no hurry. Allowing every moment to unfold with quiet. All sixty seconds of each minute of the hour were allowed to breathe.
I felt my heart slowing, moving from the rapid regular tech beat to the breath-driven, sob-pausing, flesh and blood beat. There was no rush. She was in no hurry. Her family wasn’t either. This was one last moment to still be together. One last moment to be still together.
Jesus says to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” And turns to me. Waiting in the sudden stillness.