Jon was still awake and roaming the house when I went to bed late last night and the kitchen was a wreck this morning. He’d been in the pantry, cupboards and fridge, gathering food and dishes, setting them out on the island and table, opening jars, boxes and containers but not eating any of it.
He was also dressed, with shoes on, ready to go somewhere.
I quickly made breakfast and cleaned up the kitchen mess while he waited in the car. Then I sat with him in the car at the end of the driveway, close to an hour, waiting for him to give me a hint as to where he wanted to go. He finally handed me a Dunkin’ Donuts coupon. I drove there and waited another hour, for him to get out of the car. When he finally did, he went inside Subway instead.
There’s so much about the way Jon functions I don’t understand and these behaviors confine me to a life that looks much different than the norm. I sometimes feel I’m living inside closed walls, observing through a small window, the rest of the world rushing by.
But I have slowly come to realize something profound. There is a freedom within these walls.
Endless waiting brings freedom of time, quiet observation and contemplation.
While others rush from one place to another, I wait.
While others are frantic with long to do lists and schedules, I am excused.
While others speed past the obvious and the hidden, I notice.
I notice people rushing into restaurants, gulping down food and rushing out, taking no time for tasting, talking or relaxing.
I notice the simple joy and happiness of a small boy swinging himself in half circles on a bicycle rack and how his expression shifts to sadness as his hurried mother grabs his arm and jerks him away.
I notice the swagger of a young man as he walks through the parking lot, swirling keys around one finger, and am reminded of the strength and confidence of youth.
I notice the old woman leaning on her cane, shuffling with slow steps and wonder about the life she has lived and if anyone bothers to benefit from the wisdom treasure within her.
I notice the smiling young woman with no legs, entering the building in a wheelchair and don’t stare at her but at the people staring at her, watching their reactions and reading their thoughts, visible as a billboard, on their faces.
I notice the beautiful young woman with perfectly formed limbs intact, so lacking in confidence and longing for acceptance she dresses to draw attention to the intimate parts of herself and I pray for her.
I notice the many shades of green in nearby trees and a quirky variety I don’t recognize, comical in shape, like something from a Dr. Seuss book.
I notice a tiny bird chirping in the tree in front of my car. I watch him and think of Jesus’ words, that I am worth more to The Father than many sparrows.
I lean my seat back and notice the intense blue of the sky and think about Heaven and my young friend, Rachel and her dreams.
I listen to my daily Bible reading again and praise God for finding ways to speak encouragement to me.
And I observe my son, his unusual and mysterious ways dictating my every day, and wonder why we don’t measure with greater merit, those who march to a different drumbeat.
Yes, there is liberty in this confinement and a freedom in all this slowness and waiting; one others, too busy rushing, wanting, scheming, planning and doing, rarely experience.
Walls, it seems, keep me in but also keep the unnecessary out.
Maybe I am more blessed than I know.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God..”