The elderly father of a friend has moved in with her, and at first he was driving her crazy. She’s a busy, driven, accomplished woman, she has a lot to do, but her father, though he’s in good health, takes a long time to get up in the morning. To put on his slippers. To walk down the hall. He’s 86 years old. He’s careful. He’s deliberate.
And then—this really bothered my friend at first—he slowly starts to makes his tea. He fills the kettle with water. He puts the kettle on the stove. He puts the tea bag in the cup. He gets the milk from the refrigerator. All of this slowly. Carefully.
And then he stands and waits for the water to boil, looking out the window. He notices the birds. He looks at the clouds.
Half an hour to make a cup of tea! I don’t have time for this, my friend said.
But then she realized. She does. This is what she’s been thirsting for and didn’t know it: not the tea but the silence. The awareness.
from Light When It Comes (Eerdmans 2016)