Lonely Dial Tones

Based on my research, a US dial tone is a combination of the notes A and F, just above middle C. In addition, it is a combination of the tones 350hz and 440hz. Not that anyone reading this cares. I certainly don’t, either.

The reality of the dial tone is more than it’s technical definition. A dial tone in intonated with potential. Before the cell phone, we’d pick up a handset and hear the tone humming in our ear. We were conditioned to always check and make sure that the phone would work before placing a call. It was much more personal than simply checking for signal bars. The phone would tell us when it was ready for use. The dial tone spoke of promise.

Right now, I’m living a life full of dial tones, but I feel as if I’ve lost my entire contact list. Part of this is surely knowing that Father’s Day is tomorrow, and I’ve got no one to call. I can’t even say that I’ve got a fatherly figure who I could call tomorrow without the whole thing feeling forced. But I notice the void more often than just Father’s Day.

Even this week, while Jodi and I were laying a new kitchen floor, I hit a snag. Things weren’t going just as they should have been, and I really wanted someone to call. Dad would have been the first choice, and he knew precious little about laying floor. (In fact, I may now know more about it than he ever did.) But he would have taken my call. Talking to him would have made me feel better, and the project would have continued. Instead, Jodi and I were on our own, struggling through the unknown. By the end of it, the floor got done and it looks great, but we essentially pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and did our thing.

That’s a good thing, and a bad thing. People aren’t made to be self-sufficient. We’re designed for community, and are best used when we can depend on each other. Jodi is there for me through everything, and that’s wonderful! But there are very few things that we can discuss that we haven’t already experienced together. For twelve years, we’ve been a team, and have faced several lifetimes worth of things. We’re not exactly unbiased or impartial.

Having a partner like her is priceless (and I hope she knows I feel that way) but, and forgive me if this sounds sexist, she’s a girl. Her support is incredible, but I know that she is committed to be with me through thick and thin. No matter what happens, she’ll be by my side, and I feel the same way. If it makes sense, I’d really like to have someone who likes me without obligation.

I’d love to have someone to call, someone who would answer the phone at any time just to hear me yell and scream about my floor. It would be great to make a call and talk about what’s going on in life. I want to be able to share my victories, my defeats, my struggles and my successes. To be valued because of who you are is a good thing. Having someone be proud of you no matter what you do is beyond words. If you’ve never experienced this, you really don’t know what you’re missing.

I don’t even know what I expect. Life is an ugly mess, and when things are falling apart, it’s good to have someone on the outside to lean on. We desperately need a community. Fellowship is one of the best parts of this life, and fellowship is only possible with others. You can’t do it alone.

God is faithful, and He is certainly more Father than I’ve ever needed. He’s consistent, always available, and longs for fellowship with His kids. Even the trinity of God is a community (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), and I’m certain that God loved the idea of community so much that He created us solely for this purpose. He wants us to be with Him, and He wants us to be with each other.

Human creation was an act of love. God Himself isn’t big enough to contain His love. It spilled from His hands and into the dust in the Garden of Eden and Adam was created. Further, the love that God placed in Adam couldn’t be contained in his fleshly form, and Eve was birthed from his side. All the love that as in God’s Trinity was fleshed out in the union of Adam of Eve, and the fellowship they shared with their King. This is what life is all about; loving God, and loving others.

Loneliness and depression exist to hinder the reality of God would do with us. His vision for me far exceeds my own limited perspective, as does His vision for you. When we don’t feel loved, it doesn’t change the fact that we are loved. His love reaches beyond what we think to be true, and is a truer standard than what we feel or expect. What you do with it dictates the person you will become.

I certainly hadn’t anticipated being the “senior man” in my life by the age of thirty, but that’s how it worked out. I’m entirely too young for this, but I’m also old enough to take it head-on. By the grace of God, that’s the way it has to happen now.

1 Comment

  1. Mike

    Ryan, it must be a hard thing to lose your father…its something I am not looking forward to but I know is inevitable… But although I won’t be a father figure, I have never felt the obligation to just talk or be a friend… You can call anytime. the only time I won’t answer is if I am at work. I don’t call you in fear you are obliged to talk because you’re married to Jodi… But know although I won’t be fatherly. I will be brotherly.


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