Hurricanes in the Gap
It was only 10:00, but it already felt like a long and heavy day. Even holding my delightful grandson Daniel, blowing bubbles as I cradled him in my arms, wasn’t enough to fully lift my spirits. Before heading over to babysit Daniel, my husband Howard and I had a brief conversation about our ongoing cash flow problem. Our bills continued to be higher than our income. It wasn’t that we didn’t have the money to pay them, but we had to decide what investments to liquidate to accomplish that. As soon as we arrived to babysit, our son wanted us to look at some information about a job he was considering—in a town three and a half hours away.
We’d just begun to babysit our first grandchild two days a week, and they might move away? My heart ached.
Across the country, Hurricane Florence threatened to slam into the Carolinas. I received a frantic text from Alease: “I want to talk to you and ask you if you can send me some money to help me out. I’ve had to spend quite a bit of money getting ready for Hurricane Florence. My generator wasn’t working (she is on oxygen full time) so I had to buy some parts and stuff for that. But it’s looking like we might have to evacuate. And I’m clear that means we [Alease and her brother who lives with her] need to find a hotel. I’m looking to make sure which way we should be evacuating now.”
It felt like too much. I didn’t want to think about it, talk about it or call Alease back.
I finally shared the text with Howard. He was clear, “Call Alease, and see what she’s asking for.”
Oh yes, one step at a time.
I called her. Alease shared her fears. Her thoughts about what might happen. About possible escape routes. I listened. I asked about friends she could stay with out of harm’s way.
Our conversation was held in the middle of a brewing storm and in the gap we shared, with me afraid of the cash flow and she afraid of the storm.
In that short phone call, our swirling fears began to settle.
Both committed to listen for God’s guidance, we showed up in our mess. Together. Remembering that was enough to lead us to determine what action was needed.
Alease decided to stay home. No extra money was needed right now. The storm eventually weakened and turned away from Durham, North Carolina. I learned (once again) not to try to fix a problem before I stopped to ask what was being asked or what was mine to do.
The power of standing in the gap together continues to unfold and teach us both. We have found it to be a demanding and grace filled practice. Standing together in the gap calms the lashing of our inner storms of fear and brings us back to a profound trust in God’s presence.