The Tempest's Sigh

There are moments in life when everything is an uphill, or rather mountainous, struggle. A tempest even. While no one I've ever met can claim to have suffered calamity to the extent that Job did, we all nevertheless find solace in the story of Job, knowing that God often permits hard times for our benefit. None of us can profess perfect innocence, but we all can be perfected through trial. The problem, of course, is being overwhelmed when the tempest strikes.

To be perfectly sarcastic, I'm having a most wonderful time since the new school year started. Among other things, I decided to speak up more when needed. Be a leader and all. A phrase I admire is: Speak the truth in charity. So I've been trying it out for size.

Apparently the truth in charity is not appreciated. It's as if I forgot to read the rest of the Gospels. You know, the part where Jesus is crucified for speaking truth in charity. Except Jesus is truth and charity. Jesus I am not, but I do have tempests all around me. I have tempests at work. I have tempests with my bishop. I have tempests every which way. That mountainous struggle is real. Sometimes I throw up my arms and say, "Get me out of here!"

"Get me out of here!" Thoughts race through my head like a thousands of snow flakes falling to the ground at once. It's the thought of knowing that the next day will be more of the same. And the day after that. Probably the next as well. "Defend me O God and plead my cause" is imparted with fervour. Same too the need to "hope in the Lord." Thoughts buzz around all day. Swarming thoughts. Then nighttime comes. Time to put the kids to sleep. Lay down with the four year old. Finish a rosary. The mind is still buzzing. The fingers feel a charge. Breaths are shorter than usual. "Hope in the Lord." Repeat the psalm. Why is this student doing this? Why did that person storm out of a meeting? What complaint will that one parent come up with next? More pulsing thoughts. You can feel them surge in the veins. They trouble the body as well as the mind and soul. Surging thoughts.

And then, like a breath from heaven, comes a simple "Sigh."

A sleeping four year, nestled in my arms, with not a care in the world other than that he is sleeping in his dad's arms, and it is peaceful. It is right and just and inexplicable. World. What world? Only right here. "Sigh." A most blessed and contented sigh of heavenly sleep which asks: "Isn't this great dad?"

In the dark I ponder. Yes, it sure is great. And won't I miss these days when they are all said and done. Will I remember a few months of metaphorical mountain climbing? That times were tough at work? That I stood up for something and it was, gasp, difficult to do? That I wasn't always well liked? That God insisted that I actually turn to Him for help?

I will remember a "Sigh." The tempests will come and go, and probably come again. "Hope in the Lord" and move on. But "Isn't this great dad? Aren't we blessed?"

We sure are son. We sure are.



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