I grew up thinking I was strong. Like physically strong. Today I work out and run and am intentional about physical activity. This was not always the case. I didn’t work out, I wasn’t in sports and other than carrying around my cousins and playing outside, I wasn’t so much focused on physical activity. But I thought I was strong.
It wasn’t an uncommon occurrence to hear the request but it was always funniest on the rare moment when my cousin Rhonda wasn’t at home. That was when Matt decided to move furniture around. Not just around, sometimes it was move it from the basement. I remember this one time with this grandfather clock. Matt would yell, “hey girls, come help me move this” and without even thinking what we were moving, or if we thought we could, we jumped in. We were helpful.
I thought I was strong.
I really wasn’t but you couldn’t convince me otherwise. For starters, Matt asked for our help so of course he thought we could do it and that was reason enough to pitch in and pick a corner.
On the count of 3, and go. And we did.
Now as an adult, I realize why I thought I was strong. Matt was carrying the great majority of the weight. I never stood a chance with that grandfather clock. I never felt the full brunt of what I was helping with. I only knew my corner or my side, but to be fair, I wasn’t carrying my fair share. At the time I thought I was being really helpful. I was probably more leverage than anything but I thought I was a part and I was convinced that the role I played mattered in the grand scheme of carrying that grandfather clock up those stairs.
I look back and laugh at just how confident I was in my ability. I don’t hate it. I hope my kids feel the same way.
As the calendar got closer and closer to Caleb’s Cup this past year, I kept coming back to this silly image over and over again. Those basement steps, that giant clock, those girls who were helping and the guy at the bottom of the steps who told them that they could. He was carrying more than those girls knew but those girls knew they were doing something important.
The more I thought on it, the more God showed me.
I saw Matt and Rhonda and the rest of my family carrying the grandfather clock of grief and vision and heart and determination but much like me as a teenager, they wouldn’t know the full weight of what they were carrying. Since Caleb died, they have carried a lot. They have walked through their own pain but it became much more than that. They have loved others in their own losses and pain and have stood in the gap to make sure their story isn’t repeated. They love in ways that point me back to that grandfather clock. The full weight is too much to bear but yet somehow, up the stairs they go.
I see that grandfather clock being a lot of different things. It can be pain, it can be purpose. It can be any number of things.
Our obedience to carry our corner of the clock, our trusting in who has the base at the bottom of the steps and won’t let the weight crush us and our joy in being called into something bigger than us.
I don’t know what your clock is but I am recently reminded in a fresh way of how I am carrying it, the joy of the journey and looking back and realizing I never understood the full weight of what I was carrying because God the who calls me to it knows the part he has given me the strength to carry and calls me forward.