At Exactly 3:30p.m.

She sat in her usual chair.  It was the same big oversized brown leather chair in which she sat every Tuesday afternoon at exactly 3:30 p.m.  The chair was comfortable.  A place of rest from the crazy frenetic world in which she lived.  A place to catch her breath. 

Of all of the appointments in her calendar, this was her most precious.  So every Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., she sat there trying to recover something of her life.  She would often fill the time with tales of her pain.  She would tell of her needs and personal desires.  She would speak of disappointments and failure.  She would talk about whatever was on her mind.  She would talk as if the very act were healing.

However, today she sat in silence.  Thirty minutes of silence.  A heavy silence.  A disturbed silence.  Her brow was furrowed and her lips taut.  There were so many thoughts clinging to every corner of her mind.  There was too much to say, yet somehow nothing she could think of seemed to have any consequence.  She was restless.  Even the big brown chair was uncomfortable on this day.  

She sat in silence.

Finally, her voice broke through the painful quiet.  "It is meaningless," she said.  "Meaningless!" she shouted.

Once again her voice was met with only silence.

Suddenly, in the solitude of that moment, there was a whisper.

At first she couldn't make out what it said.  "E-e-e-excuse me?" she stuttered.

Again, a breathy whisper spoke into her silence.  "Tell me," it said.

In spite thinking that she may have actually lost her mind this time, she began to speak.  As she opened her mouth, her heart poured out.  "All of this is meaningless," she said moving her arms in a gesture that seemed to include the entire world.  "I have spent my whole life chasing after something, something I cannot define.  I know that there is something more to this thing I call life, but I fear I have missed it.  I feel like I am nothing more than a dog chasing after his own tail.  I get a glimpse of it every once in a while, and I begin the chase.  Before I actually catch it, I am distracted by something else and forget what I was chasing.  You see, it is all meaningless.  Every week, I sit in this same uncomfortable leather chair and speak my life to the wind.  I speak as if someone were listening.  I speak as if someone would care.  I speak ... You see!  Talk to me!  Say something!!!  Say something!  Say someth..."  Tears of frustration and sorrow mingled in indistinguishable salty streams down her face.  Sobbing, she once again sat in silence.

"I hear you," the voice spoke in quiet assurance.  "I hear you even when you do not speak.  I too look forward to Tuesdays at 3:30.  You see, it is then that I finally get to hear your voice.  It is then that I quietly reassure you.  It is then that I hold you. 

"My child, your voice is never lost in the wind.  Every word you utter is precious to me.  Every thought you think I hold close.  I am here at all times.  I need you to speak to me.  Please do not stop.  However, I also need you to hear me.  I am always speaking to you, but your life is too fast and you cannot hear me.  I whisper the truth of my love for you everywhere you go.  I try to gently remind you that I have come to give you life; life in its fullness.  This is the point of life.  I am the point of life.  Allow me to fill you.  Don't bother with that which this world tries to fill your life.  Commune with me.  I am LIFE.  I will give you more than any of these things can offer.  All things find their meaning in me.

"You are my child.  Nothing can nor ever will change that.  I love you."

Once again silence filled the world.  But now, there was no need to speak.  She simply fell deeper into the arms of the big oversized brown leather chair in which she sat every Tuesday afternoon at exactly 3:30 p.m.

by Brian Shivers


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