Earrache

Wesley. This four year old is so full of spunk and joy and sweet and sass. But today it was just screaming and tears. We went to the doctor to find that he has a blister on his eardrum.

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Cue apology from mom for when earlier that morning I tried everything from bribes to “firm voice” to get him to not be so dramatic.

But I had no idea how real the pain was.

How often is there invisible pain in the people around me? How often do I want to talk down the noise, wrestle away the disruption, blow past the discomfort?  But what I have failed to do is to pause long enough to look deep into the place where others listen from, and sit still enough to hear the echoes of pain and friction… blisters threatening to burst if not for a quiet space, deep care, good medicine and the best of doctors?

This week I have been made aware of one of those deep canals where there is much darkness, and where there is an invitation for healing. A place surrounding which few conversations naturally occur in my day to day world of wee men in a minivan, and yet it is a place where attuning my own ears might be the very thing my heart has been yearning for for quite some time.

It is this idea of privilege. It is the mechanism by which our country is founded and I get much of my freedom, and from which I derive much of my success. I speak of it as I speak of money – a currency that in and of itself is neutral, but can be used for great good or great evil.

I speak not as an expert – far from it – but as a somewhat new participant in the conversation.  A conversation I was invited into long long ago, and confess I should be much further along in. It pains me to think just how little I have traversed these grounds while people I love dearly have been marching peaceably, emboldened while weary, for quite some time.

But it’s time for me to start listening to those deep places, speaking more softly and more slowly, and walking with greater purpose.


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