We’ve dragged ourselves out of bed early to meet together as we do each week. This time, I won’t run away. I won’t shut down. I’m not sure what happened last week.

Sometimes it feels as though no one wants to speak. I wonder whether it’s pride or shame or just awkwardness. For me, it can be a combination of all three. But this morning we are sharing slowly yet openly. Fatigue, discouragement, disappointment, suffering, intimidation, and fear reside in our words, yet we share them and they become less cavernous, less consuming.

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A muffled voice says, “Luther, can you knock?” 

Two small slaps on the door makes me smile. “Hello?!” 

“Okay, you can open it, Luther!”

He strains and grunts for a few minutes unsuccessfully. Chuckling, I sneak to the door and push and he believes he’s done it himself. My two year old friend rushes in, so ecstatic. He runs around to every corner, to every little thing worth exploring and points. I put on the new Radiohead record. He stares at it, transfixed for a moment and then starts to spin and dance.

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Tuesday evening.

I always knock twice and wait with an expectant smile to hear a muffled, “come in”.

He was absorbed, contorted over his guitar, cords snaking and coiling into various devices. I knelt in front of him and lay my head on his knees, just listening. 

“I’m almost done.”

“It’s okay. I’m just listening.”

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“What do you think of that?”

I so appreciated that she had asked me. And I didn’t know what my answer was. She’d been talking of her struggle with using profane language within the context of a band that had once led congregations in worship of God. A rift was growing and that fact presented to her an issue that was difficult to ignore in good conscience. 

“We’re supposed to be united and this is causing division. That doesn’t seem right.”

I hadn’t thought of that.

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