chinese water torture
So last night, we were going through our nightly bedtime rituals when, much to our surprise and annoyance, our smoke detectors all started going off. A quick, adrenaline-packed race through the house proved that no fire was burning anywhere, and yet that persistent and piercing siren continued to wail.
We reacted like any nice Christian folks would; the hubby let loose a steady stream of expletives, the dog contortion-crawled all 65 lbs of himself into a tiny puppy-pancake under the bed, and I got hysterical.
Then, just as suddenly as it started, it stopped.
A few minutes later, as we all (and I mean A-L-L, as the dog was beside himself with fear and trembling) climbed into bed, full of relief… the beeping started. You know the one; that steady, 1 minute apart harsh beeping sound your smoke detector makes to alert you of some perceived threat like too much dust or too low a battery.
Further and fervent investigation revealed that this is the same
smoke detector we have had issues with before. Somehow all the dust in our newly-built house travels up the stairs into this one corner of this one bedroom, all the way up to – yep – you guessed it, the very tip-top of the high-pitched ceiling. Since we don’t HAPPEN to have any 20ft ladders hanging around the house and neither of us can climb walls, we were in for a long night.
We tried, really we did.
We stuffed towels under doors, put pillows over our heads, and played sermon after sermon on the kindle in hopes of drowning out the relentless beep… beep… (wait for it) beep… of The Demonic Detector.
And somewhere around 4 am, the thought of David Koresh and all the craziness that went on in Waco popped into my head. And I begin to appreciate the BRILLIANCE of the tactic in playing Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots are Made For Walking over and over again in an effort to drive them crazy(ier) inside in hopes of getting them to surrender.
After a very restless night of tossing and turning on our part (and trembling and gassiness on the dog’s,) we finally rolled out of bed this morning, bleary-eyed and worn down to nubs.
And guess what day it is? My super-special, fiercely-protected, much-anticipated DAY. OF. WRITING (insert sarcastic maniacal smile here.)
For those of you creative-types, you know how this works. But for you left-brainers, let me explain: Creativity is a fickle friend, folks. It comes and goes in waves, and sometimes never comes at all. It comes at very inconvenient times like when you are driving, or sleeping, or in the middle of a business meeting and should totally be paying more attention, or when you are seething mad. It doesn’t willingly come on a Tuesday afternoon just because it is “writing day” and it certainly doesn’t come on a Tuesday afternoon after a Monday night of Chinese Water Torture.
But I was determined to keep up with my new goal of writing more consistently, so bright and early this morning, the first thing I did was go down my very short list of folks we know that have ladders that can reach the heavens to facilitate the silence. TO NO AVAIL.
I could have exercised other options at this point, sure. I could have gone somewhere else and tried to write, but who gets dressed on writing day? Or I could have just given up on writing altogether and gone and had ice cream (this was not just a fleeting thought.) But instead, I buckled down and tried to make something happen.
And then, after hours of staring numbly and dumbly at a screen full of complete drivel, with the ever-present piercingly consistent beep of the detector in the background, my husband sent this text:
Oh, I do appreciate a good sense of humor.
I appreciate, even more, that the dear man is bringing home the ladder of peace with him tonight and we will once again experience the life-sustaining function of sleep.
And I bet that right about now, you would appreciate knowing what the point of this stupid story is.
Well, let me enlighten you.
1) Misery loves company and I basically want you to feel sorry for me.
2) I am running on empty today BUT SINCE IT IS WRITING DAY and my new blogging resolution is to show up (even if I want to throw up) and write consistently, this is what I have to work with today. So as Granny Susie would put it “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit,” folks.
3) Even though I feel all cracked out and delirious, I do feel like I am about to make a spiritual connection to this story for you, however sketchy and loosey-goosey.
Because, around coffee cup #6, it dawned on me that life can sometimes feel a lot like last night and today.
Sometimes there are seasons of complete chaos, when you are facing that bad diagnosis or that crumbling marriage and the panic ensues because it feels like your whole wide world is about to burn to the ground.
Sometimes there are seasons of exhaustion, when the relentless slow and steady grind of your nowhere, no-good job (or spouse, or in-laws, or whatever…) has you feeling like someone is tap-dancing on your last nerve, and what you really need is some relief and rest.
And sometimes you have set a goal for yourself and set out to accomplish it with the very best of intentions, only to be relentlessly distracted; a fear, a doubt, a constant dripdripdripping of poison on your dream.
So what’s a girl to do?
The easy answer is, call on Jesus. After all, He is our Spiritual Superman. He is literally faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive… because duh, He IS God. He is the one who promises that we “…can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) and tells us,“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) When we are in our seasons of fear and panic, calling out to God is like calling emergency services when your house is on fire. Here is when our faith is grown. Here is where you find out that God is the only one that has what it takes to save you, and that He is both willing and able.
But much more often, we find ourselves in a the daily grind of life; tired, distracted, worn down to nubs. Here is where our community is grown. Here is where God provides through the heroes that come in more everyday forms like… handsome hubbies with ladders… or friends with tacos and wine.. or FOR THE LOVE OF DOG, DOES ANYONE HAVE A BLESSED NINE VOLT BATTERY that can rescue you all the same, and that they too – are both willing and able.
What season are you in, friend? Do you need a modern-day miracle or just an everyday hero who is willing to help?
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Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you. Psalm 102:2
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17