Mercy Hill

The In – Between

So this guy just came to the door and he knocked.

It was 6 pm. Also known as “Supper.”

He had a clipboard and a name badge and was wearing various flair from his company. The company that he said he was not soliciting for.

I repeat, he said he was not soliciting. Evidently he or the company was so excited about the new and amazing fiber optic cable that they felt compelled to go around and knock on all our doors to let the whole neighborhood know. I know right? Kind of want to shout it from the rooftops myself.

Not soliciting. And rightly so, because I have this sign on the door that says, “No Solicitors.”

Whew.

I mean if he had been soliciting, he would have seen that sign and turned around and walked down the sidewalk to some other home that does not have that sign on the door.

If the sarcasm isn’t obvious, let me say that I was less than happy with this solicitor. This salesman. This interrupter of dinners and all things family and food and rest. I got a little rude.

Now I wasn’t really rude in the living-in-Manhattan-fighting-for-a-cab kind of way, but more of the I’m-a-suburban-with-this-sign-I-bought-and-stuck-to-my-door-so-why-are-you-bothering-me kind of way. (Just a note that is one TON of hyphens to type in once sentence.)

Long story made longer by all the hyphens, there was this small sense of outrage that he outright ignored my sign and so I right away went to the place where I have the right to treat him poorly when he, this stranger comes to my door.

The door of my home.

You know, that place that I somewhere along the line described as a place that is to reflect and distribute the love of Christ.

Why on earth would I commit to this?

Because now in my defense, I wasn’t super-rude, (sheesh, there’s another hyphen. I’m into them tonight). I just laid on the sarcasm thick like peanut butter when he said he wasn’t soliciting. In all honesty, you might have done worse. The Jell-O (another hyphen) in my hand would have looked mighty good on his head.

But there is a point to all this ranting about this poor non-solicitor. (hyphen again)

It’s that I tend to forget.

I tend to come a little loose, maybe unravel a bit and sometimes all the way.

I can tend to lose sight of who I want to be in the middle of life’s in-betweens.

You know the in-betweens, right?

These are the moments of our every day that trudge along slowly, surely, nearly in hypnotizing fashion where life and days and weeks can pass by in mundane and wildly boring ways. No mountain tops, no deep valleys, just the every day.

Every. Day.

Sometimes the every day is hard.

It’s hard because we can’t believe anything boring and mundane and in-between can be holy. Or that anything holy can happen. It’s hard to believe that there in our most normal of days can live progress and life and beauty and love and joy… tragedy, authenticity, depth and intimacy.

Sometimes it seems like for some of us, we’re all just sitting around for the next time the great big Waiter in the sky comes our table to bring us a glass full of mountaintop experiences or a big bowl full of calamity, and we can miss the some of the most holy opportunities in the every day, the in between.

It is no small thing to live as if you are fully alive in the middle of the mundane.

In the normal. The every day.

But I think life is like (Um, no. Stop that.) a glass of ice water.

Yes. Ice water.

Because there are all these big obvious ice cubes taking up all this space in the glass.

Consider those ice cubes the big stories, the big days, the mountaintops and the calamities. The parts of life that get noticed.

But we have to remember the water. The water is what quenches our thirst. It’s there between the cubes, in the big and small space, the space at the top, the space at the bottom… filling in all the gaps and waiting to be poured out to do the real life quenching. More so than the cubes.

This is the stuff… the stuff in the in-between that makes you not so thirsty anymore.

And our every day, our in-between moments, even our waiting moments… Sometimes the most profound and brilliant things can happen here.

People can see you and look into you and speak grace.

They can offer you up their wounds and vulnerability and self, and you can return to them Jesus.

You can take a moment to let someone know they are not by themselves in this world.

Sure, we will have big huge days. Big and high mountaintops and exclamation points and victories and songs and joy… and likewise there will be calamity… catastrophe, the places where the pain is so raw and deep that you can’t breathe and you wonder if you ever will again.

But do not for a minute believe that the day before that… the day and the week and the month after that are not any less real life than those big life moments.

Do not underestimate the in between, the every day… and the opportunities that wait there.

It’s where we flesh out most of our walk.

It’s where we grow the most.

It’s where we see the most.

Hear the most.

Learn the most.

Live and love the most.

Back to me… well yeah I got numb. Distracted and annoyed there in the in-between today and was rude to this non-solicitor. Turned the doorway of my home for one second to one of accusation and not welcome. I wasn’t horrible and it was just a small example. But still, this is very much like me.

I do think he’ll survive, and I do believe my salvation is secure. And I do believe all is well in the neighborhood. We’re all sleeping more soundly knowing the cool things his company is doing.

But.

This, right here, this is where most of life happens. In doorways and boring moments and supper at 6 pm.

When the Apostle Paul said to “pray without ceasing”… it wasn’t because God wouldn’t hear if we didn’t talk and yell and stomp our feet loudly enough.

He did it because the without ceasing happens all day every day… in our in-betweens where God houses most of the growth and stories, beauty and disaster, frailty and hope of His breath in, around and through us.

So drink up. There’s a lot of in-between there in your glass and in mine.

And there goes another one of those doggone hyphens.

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