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chef boyardee with a plastic fork

February 19, 2008

If I close my eyes right now, all I hear is the gentle, rhythmic hum of the 40-inch printer in the corner of the office.

The silence is sterile.

My black, square computer monitor sits on its black, square base on the black, square desk. Two black, square speakers adorn its shoulders, as it enjoys its prominence over the black, square phone; the black, square stapler; and the black, square inbox.

Just yesterday it seemed that the bright pink, potted flower was smiling at me. Just yesterday it seemed stronger than me, a bearer of hope. Today it hates me. Today it begs me to bring it home or to church or anywhere but here. So I pour a little of my water around its base and think, as loudly as I can, “Not a chance.” Misery loves company after all, and we’re in this together … Yes, that’s self-centered of me, but you’re a house plant.

Just yesterday it seemed I was eternal. Just yesterday it seemed we were partnering with Holy Spirit to breathe fire into a handful of teenagers, to bring about His purposes for the last five seconds of lifeasweknowit, to renew ourselves, to tear down strongholds. Today eternity has paused in order to allow me to suffer the black square.

So here I sit. With a plastic tub of microwaved mac ‘n cheese, a plastic fork, and a plastic cup of room temperature drinking water. Here I sit, trapped by everything temporal, everything fading, everything mundane. Here I sit with a dozen lasting, fascinating things I could be doing, counting down the last 20 minutes of a lunch break that hasn’t been a break from anything I’d like a break from.

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