>Making space for all the stuff

>While I *could* mean my house and the seemingly endless amounts of stuff that our family accrues, that’s not the stuff I mean.

I’m talking about the stuff of life- the struggles, fears, losses, pain, longings, and wounds. And to a lesser extent the victories, joys and celebrations that come along. Certainly, when I am fully present in my life, I have plenty of that. After all, I am a mom, daughter, sister and wife. Some days, I feel like I have more than I can carry, even when I remember that I’m only carrying it as far as the prayer closet.
The space I need in that closet is for everyone else’s stuff. My co-worker’s grief and concerns for their kids. My friend’s newborns and the patterns of life that those little ones have turned upside down. My classmates’ parents and spouses. The people I know selling and buying houses. And those are the people that I actually know “in real life.” Through the wonders of modern technology, I now have friends I have met only briefly (if at all), but who I have come to care for deeply. And whose lives are just as complicated!
On a day like today, when we can’t help but reflect on the lives lost and families torn apart, I feel a great burden. For the families who lost loved ones in “normal” ways in the days around September 11, 2001- to strokes, cancer, car accidents, suicide or natural causes. How must their grief be tied up with and yet apart from the terrorist attacks. I ache for those families whose own brushes with terrorists and military reprisals happened on days that are not memorialized by their neighbors. I consider the pain of separation and strained reunion that military and other contractor families have endured.
I’m thankful that my God always has space for more, always has ears to hear and has the power to make all things new. On days that it all seems too much, that is a promise worth clinging to.

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