The moment I lay down next to him in his cozy bed, he opens his mouth. Out pours all the pain underneath of what we just experienced to be a three-hour angry outburst.
Words come. Tears follow.
I hold him and his brave elementary age, boy-man tears while he shares and talks and asks and processes.
He experiences, listens, and shares best lying down.
The thought comes like a gust of wind and then leaves.
He processes best lying down.
I think back to the previous hours. Three to be exact, of confustion and imploring, bud, what is wrong? What is underneath all your anger?
“I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m feeling. I don’t know what I’m thinking.” Such frustration in his eyes when we tried to hold him. He swatted and stomped and went about in a continued fit of rage.
His rage doesn’t scare me, but I can see it scares him.
And then sheets pull back, his weary body lies down, his head touches the pillow, and magic comes. He can breathe. Clear thoughts come. Out pour all the words fighting to emerge from his swirling mind and heavy heart.
I believe the position or posture we come to do our best listening, receiving, and experiencing is unique to each of us.
What does this look like for you?
Do you do your best listening, receiving, or experiencing sitting, lying down, or standing? Have you paid attention to this before?
Think of where the majority of your aha moments come. In what posture do you hear God speak most? What about where the best conversations or ideas occur?
For the woman in Luke 13:10, she was bent over when God heard her, laid his hands, and healed her from a disabling spirit. We don’t know what this disablement was. We know she had suffered for 18 years. 18 years! That’s (the majority of) raising a child! 18 years she was “bent over.” What did she hear in those years? How did God speak? How did He meet her in a way she grew accustomed to because she had no other choice? What did she see in her bent state? The earth? Animal poop? Trash? What were her desires? Did she long to lift her head and see the birds and cloud shapes and trees swaying overhead? What if her bent over-ness paved a courageous path to find healing in Jesus? How freeing was it when she was finally able to stand?
I am most comfortable with myself and others when sitting. There is grounding in this space. Intimacy. On the couch or porch I settle in and notice more. I lean in to listen as well as ease back to be. Sitting is intimate and conversational. Sitting is where I naturally talk with Jesus and others. Sitting is where I come to both give and receive. When I sit, I don’t have to leave my space of peace to entertain. I move at ease in myself. I am tethered and congruent when sitting.
What about you?
Are you a stander? Do you love to find footing on solid ground? Do you swirl arms as you talk? Do you need room to walk and sort thoughts?
Do you experience and hear God clearest when standing? What about when you’re with friends?
Or maybe, like our oldest, you find yourself most ready to listen, receive and experience when lying down.
I thought this awareness to be pithy. It’s nothing, really.
Until I pulled out our family journal and saw Tanner’s response to the question: Where do you hear God the most?
Confirming words echoed wisdom from a ten-year old’s heart: When dad and mom lie down with me.
So, friend, in what posture do you hear the Divine most? I wonder, is it all three in different ways?
Let’s make space for these positions as we come to listen.