• ashirk@gmail.com
  • Kijabe, Kenya
on more questions. . .

on more questions. . .

2020 has been relentless. . .in the day to day, I find myself more stretched, more poured out, more overwhelmed, and more exhausted than I have felt in the last five years combined.  The rules have all changed, the muscle memory that gets me through the less strenuous parts of the day isn’t effective anymore.

Which mask? Which disease? Which distance? Is this hug okay? Which is more important – my mouth being covered or someone understanding what I say? Do I accept Madeline’s welcome home hug or change my clothes first? My throat hurts – do I call out of work? If I do, will all the patients in the hospital be seen? Will the girls understand why I am not home? Should they? Is this a sprint or a marathon?

Should we invite them over? Is 5 too many people to have for dinner? Do I push for this when I know we are stretched? Is compromise giving up or is inevitable? Do I accept this is impossible?  Do I put myself or my friend on call? What is the biggest problem? Was that the biggest problem? Did we say no to fast? Should we say yes more often?

Do I watch over Annabelle’s shoulder or push her to independence?  Can the kids play together or does that put us all at risk? Do I let the girls introvert or push them to reach out? Do we show them our stress or navigate it quietly?  What do they think of how our lives have changed?

Have I called enough? Have I checked in too much? Do I have energy for one more zoom or one more video? Today, is it okay to just collapse?

And yet, in the questions, I find connection. We walk these together in every country, every relationship, every situation. We answer them the best we can. We give grace to each other in unmeasured amounts. We pivot. We recalibrate. We cling to what is certain.

The more relentless the year is, the more I find myself recognizing provision in the storm, the lead of love in the chaos, seeing the times my worry is met with mercy, my concern is met with grace, and my unbelief is countered with generous love.

2020 has shown our helplessness in stark relief, but we have continued to live and move forward. We have seen distraction stripped away. We have faced who we are and battled with it.  I am flawed. I am selfish. I am not in control. When I don’t know what to do I push too hard and I doubt my compassion, my purpose, my friends, and my Savior.

And in that uncertainty, I am met daily with reminders that

I am still Loved.

That I am still Seen.

That I am still Known despite my incompetence to figure out this year.

And in some strange way, today, I am grateful for topsy-turvy insanity and the chance to see those that have found pockets of presence and wisdom to stand with us in the unknown – to trust us enough to ask these questions with us, to give grace to the unknown answers, to weep with us and to rejoice.