I’m cracking under the pressure.
I don’t need to describe it to you. You know. We all know.
The days upon days of uncertainty and upheaval. The unmet and unmeetable need for a smile, a hug, a long, deep, free breath without the heart-clenching taint of fear. The constant tension between honoring authority and being human.
Our shared, slow-motion nightmare pressing in steady and sure and unceasing.
And underneath, a tailored hell for each of us.
For me, it’s looking into nearly-five-year-old eyes filling with tears as yet another lonely birthday looms. Helplessly witnessing the slow degeneration of my wonderful, delicate body from disuse. Seeing our beautiful, cozy home as a prison. Keeping my mother’s mail to remember what she smells like.
I am no Giles Corey. I will not call for more weight as the life is being crushed out of me. I’m not that brave.
But I will ask for more love.
Every morning as I open my eyes and find the pressure is turned up and not down, I will ask for more Love. As I pass broken people on the sidewalk, the street corner, in the store, in my own home, I will ask for more Love. When it’s too much to bear, whether it’s reasonable or not, I will ask for more Love.
To fill my lungs with praise—or just one more breath.
To fill my mind with truth—or just a clear thought.
To fill my body with strength—or just get me up the stairs.
To fill my heart with joy—or just contentedness to be alive.
To not let the pressure crush me into fine, useless powder blown away into the darkness but instead to compress me into something precious that grasps any tiny bit of light to reflect out in brilliance.
I have been pressed beyond my ability to cope. My soul aches as much as my bones.
Yet Love wakes me each day and dares me to keep caring. To not give up hope. To stay in the good fight.
And so I do. Beyond reason, beyond emotion, beyond desire. Small though the victories may be, they are won in Love’s name one day, one moment, one chance at a time.
“When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:5-6 NIV).
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12 ESV).