When grand things happen, when someone offers me great kindness, when someone sacrifices for me, when someone unexpectedly thinks of me, it is like warm water on frozen fingers. I feel an almost physical pain. I want to hide. Often, I do. If hiding isn’t possible, my interior autopilot engages: my actions are appropriate but far from authentic.
I am a delayed reaction person. I need time to process, time to let kindness and love and concern seep into my soul. And then I need time to respond. Often I wonder if friends think I’m rude or weird. You may hear “Thank you” today and thank you again next week because your kindness has dredged up the gratitude I long to express. I may not write a thank you note today. But it will come when your love gets down inside me and the words come to my fingers.
For me, when is like wait, an unexpected Yes. It’s rereading my university acceptance letter alone in the bathroom, or waiting weeks to use my first credit card because I was certain they made an error. When shatters my expectations. My first response is to cringe until I’m sure it’s not an attack. The way I respond when I experience the many whens is one of the frequent subject of my prayers. And I’m getting better. Today is when I can write about my struggles with when.
Every Friday,100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then publish the results. We don’t edit or engulf ourselves in concerns about whether our writing is worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers. Kate Motaung’s, at Heading Home, provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We all link our posts there and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.