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Slowing down

The water for my tea is warming in the kettle. Slowing down scares me; the pace has allowed my mind and heart to avoid things that hurt, flitting quickly to the next project or obligation. Running from that means running from God, however—anyone who claims differently has never read a Bible. He is in the quiet, tender spaces.

The sound of it pouring into the teacup beside my right hand is comforting. Earl Grey, hot. Aside from the hum of the the machines at my workstation, the click of the keys beneath my fingers, the gurgle of the fountain on the bookcase, and the occassional noise from the street through my open windows, it is quiet. Can I be?

A couple I just met at church yesterday remarked that I have a wonderful smile. The pastor's three-year-old daughter Emma shyly told me I'm funny. I don't know that I'm willing to accept either compliment, much as I'd like to. Both are coverings, at least in part—ways to keep the world from asking questions or seeing more than I choose to show.

There's nothing to complain about; things are going well. There are work concerns and friend concerns, but my definition of crisis is a bit more extreme than most of the day-to-day. The hardest thing in my life today is me, and that, unfortunately, colors the rest a darker shade.

Hope is not in me, which is the very reason, I suppose, it may be called hope at all. I choose the wrong forms of denial rather than the single right one: denial of myself. That's a cost I need to make a new peace with.

If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.

—Jesus (Luke 9:23-24)

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