It’s 10:30 p.m. on a Tuesday and we’re all sitting around a table. I have milk and a cupcake laid out on a paper towel in front of me. It seems too childish of fare for the heaviness of the topic.
We confront and we plead and we leave feeling better but with doubt that we can ever really help. He seems so sad. And I want him to be happy, but it’s not my responsibility. But still, I look down and I have this brick in my lap.
It’s 4:45 p.m. on a Friday and I’m coaching a discouraged leader, pleading with him not to quit. I tell all the encouraging stories I can think of to show it will be worth it. I give all the ideas I can sweep together last minute of how to make it work. I hang up the phone wondering if I’ve made a difference.
And I pick up another brick.
It’s 6:45 p.m. on a Sunday when my phone rings and hear the familiar warm voice of my father. A baby chatters in the background, and he lovingly scolds her for stealing his cookie.
“So your sister is going to be staying here for awhile,” he says by way of explanation.
“Dad…” I protest.
“She’s going to have another baby in three weeks, and she has no where else to go,” he says quietly.
There is nothing I can say to that. Because who could ever tell a father to throw his pregnant daughter out on the street. She’s family.
And so I pick up another brick.
It’s 6:30 p.m. on a Monday and I’m walking through my favorite park. It’s quiet there, full of life with the green the recent rains have brought. But the bricks I carry are scratching my arms. They’re crowding my mind so that I can’t feel the peace. I’m crying out to God without opening my mouth.
Through the drums and electric riffs that my ear buds pour into my ears, I hear Him say, “Why are you carrying those. They are mine.”
And so I lift them up to Him, those bricks.