Third Stanza – the sidewalk ends

On my Thursday evening zoom with Brian and the world wide remnant, where we make space to hear people’s poems, to hear their hearts beat, to honor vulnerability, to bear witness to each others’ lives, under the umbrela of the Word, studying details of the Old Testament, the art, the poetry, the smallest words that fit perfectly and speak volumes, we listened to a poem by an inspiring friend Karen. 

What do you do, after all your exploring
you arrive at the start,
and this time, you’re free
but there at the end that is but a beginning
you see, clear as day, that the sidewalk ends?

Inspired by T.S. Eliot and Shel Silverstein. 

Just like in this poem, I find her story complement mine, as a full circle, and as I see the world through her eyes, I gain more clarity and see my own better. 

I trust that as the sidewalk ends, we discover we actually have wings to take flight. My neighborhood has a few sidewalls that end abruptly actually. And we often have to cross the street, in zig zag. Those areas are to be developed. Eventually. But my hope is still to take flight rather than go back. 

In her poem she glances back and the sidewalk is littered with 30 coins of silver. Selling something priceless? 

As I interviewed for Apple, and took a closer look at what it would actually mean to go back to work full time, I realize I’d sacrifice myself twice over. I’m not afraid to pull my sleeves up and work till dawn if necessary, crawl to hard work skin my knees and do what needs to be done. But on the other hand I can’t clone myself to do all that I can. And just because you can do something it doesn’t mean you should. 

As I write this, I feel this clear sense that I am a daughter and I don’t need to scrape my knees. I only need to stand up straight and apply everything I have learned. And lead. And mentor. And serve with flexibility and freedom. 

Confession time. Half a year ago, as conrad got diagnosed with cancer again, I had this nagging worry. Our work is so co-dependent, so intertwined, what would I do if he can’t design, can’t work anymore? 

My playful, responsible self urges me to seek independence. Financial independence. Self sufficiency. As time passes and our gifts are put to good use, God does not waste any ounce of His investment, my rush to seek employment elsewhere felt like an admission of doubt. Will God take care of me and my family if I don’t take the reins the way I know how to? My experience is valuable. My mind is keen. Adaptable, able, resilient, creative and resourceful. 

As I made myself known, got closer to a positive response, I felt the urge and clarity to withdraw from the race. God is using my gifts. He will open doors. He is providing. We’ve already made our fortune. We need so little, but my availability is priceless. Mothering, serving without a title or an office, doing work that fulfills me in ways the world doesn’t understand to aplaud, I feel I am where I’m supposed to be. 

And not turn back on the sidewalk littered with coins, but take flight as I feel my wings expand. Go forward. Use the gifts I already have. Enjoy the freedom and the flexibility of work. 

This is the most important work of my life. And I know it. I feel it in my bones.