Monday, January 11, 2010

It Was All In A Pause

Sometimes, I lose it in the pauses.

This is important because some of the better things in life happen in pauses.

I remember the pause right before my husband kissed me for the first time on the edge of the Grand Canyon.

Pauses in music are good. They allow us to catch our breath for the next line.

When I run, I like pauses. In fact, I prefer them to running on the less fantastic days.

There is nothing like the first pause in a crazy week. The one where you sit in a chair or on the bed and think, “Oh, just give me this moment”, as you breath out slowly.

We pause life when we sit with the Lord.

There is always a pause before someone blurts out that they are pregnant (no I am not).

Pauses are the temporary hold of the present in anticipation of a relentless future. They are brief. They are intentional.

When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” (Matthew 8:1 & 2, NRSV)

Lord if you choose, you can make me clean.


I hear this pause. This man aches from his disease, and his hands and feet are weak. His skin is inflamed. His is alone, but he wouldn’t be able to feel the soft touches of his family, anyway. His eyesight is failing him, and he is in danger of losing his fingers and toes.

And he says, Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean…and then he waits. This pause seems to last forever in my mind.

Sometimes, I lose it in the pauses. I fail to make it though that eternal second, waiting for the answers that I crave. I can’t imagine the other side of that second when a voice will complete all my needs, spoken and unspoken. The interior of a pause can bring the ache of a lifetime.

He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed (Matthew 8:3, NRSV).

Unlike my friend, I do not always hear God say, “I do choose”. I do not immediately see that I am free or clean. The landscape and the people sometimes look and act the same.

But, like my friend, I always have a moment. It is my pause. This moment hangs in time while Jesus stretches out His hand to me. He touches His daughter, His beloved. I know that whether He chooses or not isn’t important. It is the pause in His presence that matters.

I think this is on my mind because I still do not feel that the rush of the holidays is over. Are you still going at holiday speed? Do you need a pause?


  1. Friend! I love this! I am one that cannot stand the suspense between the pause. I am one that wants to know before the pause. I am one that needs to learn to appreciate the pause...because there is beauty in the pause.

  2. This is amazing and very much needed today! I do still feel like I am going 110 mph and there is no end in sight. I need to hit that button and PAUSE! Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Beautifully said, my friend. I so needed this pause today.

    Have a greatly blessed day!!!

  4. I love pauses. I make myself take them every day, even if I feel a little guilty about it!

  5. Wow. I too sometimes get lost in the pause. I get to antsy. I get to ahead. I forget about it. I do need to learn to pause more often. Especially when I am so busy and things are going at a never ending speed and I cannot keep up.

    I need to be more intentional about pausing. And not rushing ahead.


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