Thursday, November 13, 2014

Freeze-Frame Listening {November thoughts on listening}

{We leave this Friday night for a 2-month stay in New Zealand, catching up with family and friends after a 2-year absence...  Here are my November thoughts on listening, amidst stress and challenges - trying to find the thread of His voice!  For the rest of my monthly thoughts on my One Word for 2014, LISTEN, click here...} 

What if we could just freeze the frame?  What if, in the moment right before I explode in annoyance at my kid, I could freeze that frame of time and - make a different choice?

I’ve been doing a lot of editing recently - movie editing, that is.  We’re getting ready for a home leave in New Zealand and before we go back we usually try and put together a video of current daily life here in Central Asia to show friends and family…  It’s a long process, involving taking footage (and then more footage since the first lot is too wobbly, not high-res, etc, etc), converting all the clips into a format that works with Mac’s awesome iMovie editing program, picking and choosing the pithiest clips, and then… editing.  And editing.  And more editing.  Squeezing each clip down to its essence, and then squeezing even more until just the barest bones are left - glimpses strung together to make a flowing window into our lives.  

Not being ultra-techie, I feel my way along with these projects, and since I don’t use iMovie very often I always have to re-learn everything I learned last time I made a video.  I pick up some new tricks each project, too; recently, I discovered the “freeze frame” option for the first time.  Cool!  You can right-click in the middle of a clip, choose “freeze frame” from the menu, and the program lifts out a frozen frame of that image and sets it apart separately in your timeline.  You can leave it there in the middle of your video clip, a frozen moment, or you can lift it out and put it somewhere else.  

I wish I could do that.  I wish I could freeze-frame the moment just before I yell at my kids, pause everything mid-motion, stop my voice before it explodes out of my mouth, hesitate for a moment, and thinkListen to the Holy Spirit, in that frozen moment.  Tune in.  Calm my beating heart.  Close my eyes and take a deep breath.  

And then speak.  Or act.  Or whatever I need to do.  But I guarantee, after a pause to take a step back, I would probably act differently almost every time. 

Recently, in an attempt to get enculturated for our re-entrance back into Western society, we finally watched the Disney hit “Frozen” as a family.  We liked it; it’s cute, funny,  not scary, and profound in a simple but true way…  

{SPOILER ALERT: if any of you, like us, have also been on another planet and have NOT have watched “Frozen” yet, skip the next paragraph…}  

Our sensitive Will was nearly in tears at the end, when the younger sister Anna, with her last un-frozen breath, steps in front of her older sister to save her from a crossbow arrow, and in the very act her frozen heart finally transforms her completely to ice.  Each of Princess Anna’s fingernails and eyelashes freeze solid into an exquisitely detailed blue-ice statue.  The very moment she saves her sister is literally frozen in time.  

I wish I had a magic wand so I could freeze a moment with a flick of my wrist - just make everything hang stock-still in mid-air, like a movie Pause button, or a crystallized ice-Princess. 

I don’t have a wand.  I just have my imagination.  But I’m learning I can actually imagine pausing my heart / words / thoughts long enough to listen to the Holy Spirit’s quiet whisper in that moment.  

You know, I’ve realized lately that even though I do think of Jesus always being with us, for some reason I usually picture Him as across the room from me: present, but not within reach.  Recently, during a prayer time with a friend, Jesus showed me that He is actually right. next. to. me.  Close enough to whisper in my ear.  Close enough so that even His whisper sounds louder than the world’s hubbub around me.  That’s how close He is, all the timeEvery minute.  Washing dishes, changing a diaper, hosting a friend for tea, breaking up a boys’ fight, walking down the street, talking to my husband, laying down for a nap… Jesus is as close as my breath.  

So, if I can freeze the frame, and remember His nearness, I can focus on listening for His quiet voice.  

And that might make all the difference.


Post a CommentBest Blogger Tips