I was recently talking to a young woman unrelated to me but about whom I deeply care. She lives far from home in a busy city.
"There are no grown-ups," she said. I tried to picture what she meant.
She told me about the stressful environment that is routine everyday life.
"With so much chaos around me," she said, "I can’t help but feel chaos inside too." I felt my eyebrows crunch together and my mouth freeze in concern.
It was tempting to stay in that moment, to pass myself off as her peer, to simply nod in agreement, commiserate that life is indeed hard, join her in the silence that says nothing can be done. But that wasn’t enough.
There are no grown-ups.
I looked her in the eye and spoke up, the grown-up in the room. I told her that I think it’s possible to be stable on the inside when there is chaos on the outside. I told her I think it’s possible with prayer, with reading the Bible, by staying anchored in God. I told her it’s what I try to do. She listened and seemed grateful.
This conversation has come back to me often in the weeks since she and I talked.
Where are all the grown-ups?
[Photo: taken of one of my many piles of rocks]