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Holding the Tension

We wait to hear the outcome of surgery. Tension. The grandboy’s appendix must be removed, but surgery (any kind) has risk. None of us speak of that.

How grateful I am that we cannot feel two emotions at one time. One is enough.

Zipadeedoodah. We think a thought. Then zip! We automatically choose an emotion to go with that thought. Zip! We experience the one emotion. No time to name it! Zip! A gesture or action happens in a nano second. Zip! No slow motion, no slow emotions. Lickety split. Zipadeedoodah.

I’m not talking about resolving anything. Just holding the tension between two opposites, two possibilities.

The boy in the pre-op room is known for saying, “Wait…wait for it…wait for it….” He smiles like he knows something.

But what are we waiting for? Acknowledgment. Making choices can be hard. We worry. What if we make the wrong one?

Once the decision is made, there’s relief.

Mid-afternoon rays stream through the window as if wanting to strengthen us while we wait for news.

We hold a grandgirl close who speaks her brother’s name every five minutes. We pray. She writes him a letter. We distract with a movie. Her PapPaw mows, but he asks for news on his grandboy the minute he walks through the door. The struggle for all of us is to wait with patience, to hold the tension while we are living in the unknown.

Like last night. I wrestled for sleep. I prayed. I still wrestled. I was thinking about the upcoming appendectomy. My mind kept thinking, It’s good, it’s bad, there’s risk.

Early morning. My tough part, which tries to be strong for others, broke down. I prayed again. Asked others to pray, too. Ten hours later, our boy is eating and walking around, making plans to go home.

I am reminded now of how Jacob wrestled with holding the tension (Genesis 33). He wrestled with God (whom Jacob did not recognize at the time). Jacob was anxious about meeting Esau, a brother whom he had wronged. (Jacob had stolen Esau’s birthright/blessing.) Then, after the fight with God, Jacob asked for a blessing. Pretty gutsy.

Maybe we all need to be that gutsy when we are holding the tension in our bodies, not knowing how anything will go. Maybe we need to ask for God’s blessing and look for God in each other's faces.

My eyes turn toward the window. I gaze on pink surprise lilies, standing tall, receiving the light of God as if it’s a blessing.

Blessings, Pat Durmon

P.S. I welcome your comments and your sharing this blog. I read comments.

Photo by Pat Durmon of surprise lilies (also known as naked ladies) near Norfork, Arkansas, July 2015.

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