When they speak I listen


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I remember 9/11 for the silence above me.  All planes grounded.  The skies without their wispy wavy lines written in the heat of passing.  No planes flying!  People unable to teleport from town to town – country to country – continent to continent.  It was such an unusual occurrence it has stayed with ever since.

And walking our dog right now that silence is almost the same.  Still the odd plane whispering overhead but so many less than usual.  Once again the world connected virtually rather than physically (for most).  Then it was shock.  Now it is tips and tricks to “hack” the imposed impositions on movement and the effect on all of our lives.

Now we can beat this.  We will beat this.  We have our quality of life, our financial security, our expected this and that.  We are bigger than this virus!

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I think we confuse “giving up” with “giving up control”.  I have worked for many years and never confused the two.  I have been married for many years … I am a father and grandfather … ditto and ditto again.  I have never given up – but I have given up trying to control everyone and everything.

And there is a difference!

I have given up trying to control those who comment that “you shouldn’t be praying for me” … those who comment that “if you’re not safe in church where are you safe” … who comment on what they believe and insist others should believe it too.  But I have never given up.  I am an expert on not giving up.  I may make a lot of noise – may make mistake after mistake – may fall down and struggle to get back up – may need you to lend a hand – may offer my outstretched hand – may be all shades of different and conflicting beliefs – but I have never given up – and that makes me …

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Childlike.

The innocent childlike.  The sin-free childlike because I have no idea what that means.  The run till I drop and then sleep before running again childlike.  The love you and hate and love you in a second childlike.  The love you and love you and love you and love you and love you forever childlike.

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The planes that fly above or don’t … the control we think we have and cannot give up … the pain we cause ourselves fighting the shadows of our imagined destiny … the fear we engender with our miraculous connectivity … the “stuff” we chase as evidence of our own greatness … I think that is why we confuse giving up with giving up control.
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What has impressed me more than anything these past few weeks are the medical staff.  The patience they have answering the media’s sensible and inane questions.  The understanding they have of the size of this, the depth of this, the breadth of this – AND the impact ALL of this has on ALL of us – you and me. 

When they speak I listen because they speak with no “agenda” other than for my best health.  And they use words that allow me to understand what I can do for my own best health.

And then is see all the “me’s” taking that gift – and panic-buying the shit out of every shop – cramming on to the first train, plane or bus that passes by – hitting the shops because everything else is closed (and really is now!).

That isn’t being in control.  That is giving up.  Giving up on love and community and something bigger than “me”.  But I still don’t see sin nor do I see saved or unsaved.

I see love or not love.

I see up “giving up” in order not to “give up control”.

If you look up at the skies right now you can see – and hear – that too.

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