As the day developed, the number of people at home slowly expanded. As the numbers grew, the conversation went from meaningful to superficial. I doubt anyone realized the change. It was a gradual kind of thing. In the end, shopping, special offers, and entertainment options were the primary focus. It was hard to imagine that anything important would be lost in the quietness that I knew would eventually return.
There is a time and place for fun chatter. Yesterday was as good as any for this. Yet I can help but wonder about our time together. What was going on in their minds? What were the real issues of the day? Was anyone open to the thoughts and experiences of the other?
There were threads that contained invitations to more. Struggles with children, uncertainty with choices, and questions about the choices of others linger in my mind. Each quietly disappeared, lost to everyone without attention and nurture.
As I think of other conversation I have had in this place, I remember the candor that others have put on the table. In certain cases, it could have been David talking.
“Long enough I’ve carried this ton of trouble, lived with a stomach full of pain. Long enough my arrogant enemies have looked down their noses at me.” (Psalm 13.2)
Today brings a new opportunity to listen. A pivotal meeting will unfold in a few hours. I hope we are able to hear the other. It is a unique chance to walk through the depths of life with others. It is also a moment where we can honor and respect each other – for what we have been through and for how far we have come. With age has come the realization that these moments are far too few. Each is a pearl to be held, valued, and treasured. In our openness, we shape how others experienced being held. Our response and words will determine the value. They are unique and often unexpected moments. I know they will be gone when silence returns.
It’s time to seize the day.