The measure of a conversation is how much mutual recognition there is in it; how much shared there is in it. If you’re talking about what’s in your own head, or without thought to what people looking and listening will feel, you might as well be in a room talking to yourself. ~Dylan Moran
“Go on in the living room.” Katherine’s voice echoed down the hallway.
An old woman sat in the hard, wooden chair. White hair framed a glaring face.
“Go here. Go there. I just want to know why.” Mary struggled to speak, her voice barely a whisper. But her body was yelling loud enough.
I walked over to see what was going on.
A stroke took away most of Mary’s voice, and age has taken away her strength. Mary whispers everything she says. Katherine is hearing impaired and couldn’t understand Mary’s angry outburst.
I squatted next to Mary and asked what was wrong.
“No one ever tells me what’s going on. ‘Go here. Go there. Take a bath.’ But they never tell me why. I just want to know why.”
“Well, Miss Mary, I’m Traci. I come to read every week.” I placed my hand on her knee, and she looked in my eyes. “You always come in the living room and listen to me read. Would you like to come in today and listen?”
She covered my hand with her own. “Yes, I would.” She grasped the chair arm and began the painful process of standing. Katherine tried to help. “You go away.” Mary whisper-yelled at Katherine.
She grabbed her walker and followed me to the living room.
“I just want to know why.” I lift my eyes to heaven, but the answer is incomprehensible. “Why do I have to do this? Why do I have to go there?” Nothing. The answer is inaudible, and I am hard of hearing.
Mary didn’t follow me because she was desperate to hear my story that day. She followed me because I am familiar. She found me to be gentle and reassuring.
Sometimes I need a gentle, reassuring mediator, too. I cry out to God, but his voice is too quiet, my ears too deaf. I don’t know what to do, so I sit stubbornly in my chair glaring at the world in confusion.
Then the Spirit whispers words I mostly don’t understand, but they are gentle and familiar. I take Jesus’s hand and follow him to the Father’s throne room where I am a part of the story.
And so are you.
Every house has a builder, but the Builder behind them all is God. Moses did a good job in God’s house, but it was all servant work, getting things ready for what was to come. Christ as Son is in charge of the house. Now, if we can only keep a firm grip on this bold confidence, we’re the house! That’s why the Holy Spirit says, Today, please listen; don’t turn a deaf ear as in “the bitter uprising,” that time of wilderness testing! Hebrews 3:5-7 MSG