I met with two teenage guys this afternoon for therapy. I spent my time reminding them of all the progress they’ve seen against all the odds that were stacked against them, the odds they had recounted in previous sessions, the bad odds I had not tried to talk them out of because I wasn’t sure enough that they were going to come true.
And yet these two young men actually enacted these bad odds not coming true. They made choices and held out hope long enough that a different kind of future happened against all the odds, really. Over and over again.
But they’ve already forgotten. They are now in the middle of the next layer of stacked-against-them-odds and they don’t remember that they felt as impossibly positioned not so long ago. And they don’t remember that not so long ago they courageously chose to push into something they didn’t know and found themselves on the other side of something that seemed one-sided.
And so I find myself working to ask questions that remind them. And as always when any of us ask good questions of others, we hear ourselves asking good questions that we ourselves must answer.
More time passes in a day and we realize that sometimes we wake up in the middle of the night with worry and fear, drowning in forgetfulness, and we are overcome with anxiety and sorrow. And we find ourselves praying because someone once said we should pray when we wake up and can’t sleep in those dark hours of the night/morning.
So we pray that God will show us how to listen, and that we can learn what it actually means to love our awkwardness juxtapositioned to the honesty of others. And we ask for sleep knowing, owning for one damn time, that we aren’t orchestrating all of this and we need some help to be able to find any peace at all, waking or sleeping.
And we might finally catch some rest before the sun rises, or we might not.
But it doesn’t matter either way, because we realize that we are all learning from each other, and we need the people around us to remind us that we are capable of and intentioned for more than we could ever think to ask or imagine. And though we often drown in our own forgetfulness, a sleepless night that reminds us to ask for eyes to see and ears to hear might just be what we need to remember that he is making all things new and he is the God of doing things against all the odds.
Even in the middle of a sleepless night.
Pine Tree Dr.