When Grace Walking Looks Like Walking Across the Room
A dormant volcano, the lava exploded up in me. “Everything was fine, until I saw you sitting here doing nothing.”
Silence. Surprise and hurt on my husband’s face. No one saw it coming, not even me.
What question had brought on this explosion?
“How was your bath?” my husband had asked me. He was sitting in front of the computer, just browsing around on the internet.
Today had been long and hard and I’d tried to do all the things. I’d taken a minute to go and relax. Then I’d spewed all over him.
So, I sat down to fold some of the laundry that was sitting clean and crumpled in two baskets behind him.
His day: studying for his online degree. My day: laundrying, washing dishes, straightening, mothering, cooking.
He sat down near me, not too close, and without a word began folding too. I wanted him to say he was sorry for not doing house stuff while I was bathing. I wanted him to be busy in the house as I had been all day.
Yes, he had been busy all day too, but I saw my busy as worse. Mine had been loud, full of kids, and nothing I had wanted to do. His had been quiet, alone, and nothing he had wanted to do. I would’ve traded him though. Or so I thought.
We sat there in silence folding laundry. Steam coming from me as I my anger increased because now our only few minutes alone together were silent, not filled with catching up on each other’s days. His fault.
There was a little whisper of the Holy Spirit in my conscience that said to say I was sorry. My fault.
I let the lava burn that voice up.
Clothes folded. I stood without a word and went into the kitchen aimlessly. I grabbed an orange. Peeled it. Began to eat.
Somehow standing there eating those slices, I felt the Holy Spirit try to slice through again. Why did I repay a kind question with wrath? Sin in my heart. My fault.
I walked back to the living room. “I’m sorry I said that.”
He looked up at me. “I just assumed you were tired.”
“I am, but I shouldn’t have said that. I was just too busy today,” I said. “My emotions are frayed.”
He nodded. “I’m sorry I was looking at the computer instead of helping.”
“No, you have every right to relax too.”
With that, it was over. We talked a bit, prayed, and I went to bed. He had more studying to do.
The next day I did less. All that busy the day before, and I hadn’t finished the dishes because yes it was that piled up and yes we still ate and cooked. All that busy, and I hadn’t gotten the laundry put away. All that busy, and all I’d done was busy my soul until it couldn’t take anymore and snapped. All that busy to serve my house, and I’d broken it instead.
Grace walking looks like walking across the street, the city, the world to share the Gospel of Christ’s grace and forgiveness with humility. But often, it looks like walking across the room to share it too.