This article originally published in the May 2009 issue of groundswell.

I giggled when I realized it.  My story-telling has one very prominent feature–I often pause for effect.  I feel the arc of the story, know when the natural questions will arise, life my eyebrows to indicate to my listener that more is coming.  Yes, I do like a good story.

This pause is nothing new to anybody.  We feel the pause when watching television and they cut to commercial just after building up the plot with intrigue and intense background music.

We fill it when the woman in labor stops her groaning, focusing every fiber of her being on pushing–the hush in the room before the cry of life and the exhausted collapse of the now-joyously spent mother.

There is a pause outside–the clouds have darkened, the humidity has risen–waiting for the first raindrops to fall.

Ocean waves, ebbing and flowing, ebbing and flowing,  ebbing and building.  Watching the wave build as it comes to shore fascinates me.  But what catches my breath every single time is the bend of the water just before the wave crashes down into the surf.

God is the Master Storyteller.  And any decent storyteller will pause for effect.

I wonder the innumerable times, as many as the grains of sand on the shore, that I have rushed past the pause and into my day, missing out on the point, the punch-line–the relief of the crashing wave, the birthed child, the plot resolution.

May my heart be ever quiet, so I may never again miss His pause for effect.

photo by Roger Kirby

Throwbacks are all about bringing in previously-published articles.  These articles appeared back when groundswell was published in the form of an email newsletter.  The photos are newly added to the blog.

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