Quiet God, Silent God, God of the sleeping infant, of the dozing grandfather, of the napping cat curled by the fire, God of the landscape crew lounging on their backs under the tree at noon, ball caps over their faces, God of the 5:00 PM click of the office door, God of the waiting between lightning and thunder, God of the bedside watch for death, with only the soft hum of a pump, the tick of the monitor, God of the frozen lake, of the empty library, of the cleaned conscience,
A coworker is short with me, giving me half an answer, and that in monosyllables.
How do I tell the story?
He's a jerk. She's inconsiderate. He cares only for himself. She has no respect for me or the work I do.
Perhaps he's feeling overwhelmed, or doesn't feel well, or is struggling with some personal issue. Maybe she doesn't think people respect her or the work she does. He could be hurting, and nobody knows or cares.
Why have you loaded me up with all these expectations? When did I become your pack mule?
I head for the nearest tree, scrape against it, try to dislodge an expectation or two. Something drops; I hear glass breaking...
...and laughter-- your laughter. "That's not my expectation," you say, "it's yours. They're all yours."
"No," I say, "not mine. They've been piled on all my life-- parents, siblings, teachers, church staff, colleagues, friends, year after year, new parcels, a tower of them; I've roped them together with love, loyalty, faith..."
She interrupted, no longer laughing, "You've roped them with insecurity, fear, desperation, perfectionism. Let me say it again-- you are not weighed down by the expectations of others, only your own. You tied these knots; when will you undo them?"
Weight combines with insight and I collapse, buried... buried but hopeful.
If I stacked and shouldered these, I can leave them behind.