Maybe it’s the introvert in me, or the escapist, but my current state of being stands as one of my favorites. I sit alone within the world of my headphones in a room of people silently working away at their own tasks. Together but separate. Maybe it’s a family trait. My family has always been fairly project oriented. Either we were all in it together (clearing brush, painting the house, replacing the linoleum flooring) or we were downstairs in the kitchen silently exploring our individual interests, save for intermittent outbursts if something struck us sideways.
Presence. Nearness. People are specifically themselves and there is an emptiness that is felt from the absence of that person who is irreplaceable. Babysitting last night, we played with a toy that fits differently shaped blocks through their matching holes. No matter how hard this toddler tried, the diamond block would never fit through the triangle hole. He will master this mystery as he continues to play.
As I write, I realize I don’t take my own advice. I miss the people I love, but I don’t really believe that others love me and miss me similarly in specific ways. Yet, I sit here back on campus again after my mono-induced hiatus confronted with the contours of relationship. Those people who were a part of my everyday routine earlier this semester express gladness at seeing me again–assuring me that their prayers have been lifted up this past month on my behalf. God is good and so often I don’t see it because I have made-up limitations for how His goodness has to be exhibited to me.