REFRAMINGMarch 15, 2017
A picture frame on our coffee table falls over. Somehow the arm holding it up has weakened over time and so it crashes and collapses almost daily until we stand it back up again. Teenage versions of ourselves smile back at us sandwiched between our grandmothers, our late grandmothers. Young love and promised potential surrounded by four corners, completely oblivious of the home we’ll eventually buy or the child we’ll create.
A photograph, we’ve been meaning to reframe it. Maybe now is a good time.
We fall into the couch, my wife and I. We’ve clocked out for the day. The sun has set and our daughter is tucked in and the dishes have been washed and we’ve officially clocked out from work, from parenting, from responsibility for the day. We let the silence surround us, filling the room and filling us, entire conversations that don’t require words. One of us accidentally knocks the coffee table, a picture frame falls over.
“How was your afternoon?” I finally ask.
We compare notes. We make an effort to share in the stress and the triumphs, to help carry the weight of burden and bliss. Then it happens. We break. The world upon our shoulders forces us to our knees. Dying relatives, surprising health scares from both sets of parents, bankruptcy filings from the company currently employing us both, childcare, car trouble, an overweight dog -- all within the last six weeks. Somehow the arms holding us up have weakened over time.
We’re forced to our knees and we pray while we’re there.
We ask for strength and understanding. We ask for guidance and clarity. I ask that the words He’s given me, here and there and everywhere else from then until now, are heard. Then we thank Him and we brush off our knees and get back up. We weather the storm. We divide the weight, burden and bliss, and soldier on together. Regardless of what knocks us down, at least we’ve got each other, crashing and collapsing almost daily until we stand back up again.
Our perspective, we’ve been meaning to reframe it. Maybe now is a good time.