Breathing Room Blog Book Club — Chapter 14



Chapter 14 in Breathing Room is all about reaching out. The idea here is that when we are isolated in life, a membrane forms around us that keeps us in our own little bubble. All kinds of crazy stuff can happen in this bubble, devoid of any outside input, perspective, truth.

We get caught in the closed-loop of our own minds. I don’t know about you, but this is often slightly scary for me. All those Brain Vultures flying around in my mind want to convince me of some really weird stuff, and the next thing you know I’m buying their BS and I’ve got a one way ticket to crazy town.

We interrupt all this toxicity by reaching out. For help. For prayer. For a guide. For a coffee date. For a walk on the beach. When we reach out, we pierce a hole in that isolating membrane and we create enough room for someone else to reach in. This is a lifeline. It brings fresh perspective from a source outside our own minds, which can be supremely helpful.

Sounds super easy, right?

Here’s the down and dirty truth. Reaching out sucks. It’s good for us, We know that. But who in the world likes to be in need? Who in the world likes to ask for help? Who in the world enjoys sharing the scary contents of their own plagued mind?

But we do it. We do it together. We decide we will not stay stuck in our woeful world. We will reach out and get the love and support and grace we need. Even though reaching out — etymology of the phrase comes from “the rack,” as in torture — feels like we’re dislocating our carefully in-tact joints. In other words, reaching out is often uncomfortable. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.

And one other really somewhat-sucky thing: when we do reach out, the lifelines that God sends us don’t always appear as we expected. Another whammy. Sometimes lifelines are slightly odd, uncomfortable, a little bit unconventional. Think of all the ways God brought his people help throughout the Bible. Scarlet cords and prostitutes come to mind. So, it follows, that if you reach out and ask for help, often God will bring it to you. After all, he is in the business of saving. But often God will bring you that help in some form that you hadn’t totally planned or approved of, exactly. I think that’s just God’s way of keeping everyone up in heaven entertained.

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So, whatever you’re struggling with this morning: mom guilt, panic attacks, food issues, body issues, loneliness, worry . . . God loves you and wants to save you from the closed-loop of your own human solutions. He wants to pull you out of the void in which you are drowning and set you up on a wide open field — surprised to be so loved! (Psalm 18:16-19 MSG)

Perhaps you could do the VERY courageous work of reaching out, asking for help, sending a hand in the direction of a trusted source. And then just see what happens, and trust God for the next right step to emerge.

Here I am, on this Monday, believing in you and believing in me . . . and our ability to pierce that membrane and let some light in.

All my love,



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