I am sitting in the Argo Tea on the first floor of the Willis Tower watching the Facebook likes and comments role in. I just posted a job update: “My long, disorienting, discouraging job search has turned into meaningful employment: Chicago/Milwaukee Regional Director for Lutheran Volunteer Corps, starting August 1. I couldn't be more excited!” The likes are up to 31 and counting, and it feels good. In these moments it is easy to forget the stress and strain of the last few months.
A few Tuesday mornings ago I waited for a call from Lutheran Volunteer Corps. At 8:30 am they were going to tell me whether I got the job or didn’t get the job, either sending me dancing through my apartment or collapsing onto my bed in tears. I woke up before six that day and did my best to pass the time: a morning run, a healthy breakfast, some piano playing. As my anxiety grew I grabbed the poetry book I’ve been reading: The Gift by Hafiz. Picking up where I’d left off I stumbled across a piece entitled “There Could Be Holy Fallout.”
Call it serendipity or divine intervention, it was a Word with a capital “W.” As the clock ticked closer to 8:30 and my nerves were stretched as thin as they could be I read:
Sit down, my dear,
Take a few deep breaths,
Think about a loyal friend.
Where is your music,
Your pet, a brush?
Surely one who has lasted as long as you
Knows some avenue or place inside
That can give a sweet respite.
If you cannot slay your panic,
Then say within
As convincingly as you can,
“It is all God’s will!”
The poem ends by claiming that “it looks like Holy fallout,” and now—knowing the outcome of that phone call—I couldn’t agree more. But if the outcome hadn’t been that, the poem still offers hope through its suggestion that the reader has all of the resources she needs. Surely one who has lasted as long as you knows some avenue or place inside that can give a sweet respite. Indeed. May all those who search know sweet respite and holy fallout.