It’s called Five Minute Friday. Each week, we write for five minutes, freely, on a one-word prompt. We write quickly, then post, a flash-mob linking together at Kate Motaung’s site.
It’s fun!
This week’s prompt: SEND

My oldest daughter is a rock climber. What a sport. It takes incredible strength, obviously, but it also takes much patience and strategy. Much like chess, each move must be carefully anticipated and calculated. It’s also a sport that has its own vocabulary. I learned that they don’t say, “I made it to the top.” Instead, they say, “I sent the route.”

This week, two climbers were the first to send the wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. My daughter showed me a picture of how the climbers had to live on the wall for seventeen nights… on their way to the top.

Instagram | @tommycaldwell
Instagram | @tommycaldwell

What would it feel like to endure such a wall? I imagine the cold winds and long nights, the swinging tent and the fear.

I imagine two climbers pulling and pushing each other up, then wiping tears of joy with bloodied hands and hugging each other with tired arms. I can feel their fingers trembling as they unstrap and unbuckle, and the squint of their eyes as they battle the unblocked sun to take in the view.

I can hear their shouts of relief and joy. Their sound waves doing victory laps around the mountain: laughing, cheering, singing praises …all mocking the very walls that tortured them along the way.

I also imagine what it would have been like to climb and celebrate alone. No one who understands the proud pain of blistered hands and bruised feet. No one who knows the struggle to keep your chin up, think ahead, and not look down. No one with whom to hug, shout, or cry.

God gave us friends so we could send life’s walls together. Because alone, it’s too steep and terrifying on the route. It’s too lonely at the top.

Are you on a wall alone? Or worse, are you wasting energy to keep the face of your mountain hidden? You are robbing yourself of valuable help along the way, and much joy at the top.

Choose a friend, and camp out on the wall. Look ahead. Reach. Trust the One who holds you both.

Send it.

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 1 John 3:16

17 thoughts on “Send

  1. Jeanne Takenaka January 15, 2015 / 9:30 pm

    Karen, I absolutely LOVE this post. It’s so descriptive. I had no idea about that rock climbing expression. How apt it is. And how much more meaningful and strengthening when we send life’s walls with friends.

    Beautifully written!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marie January 15, 2015 / 9:32 pm

    This is so lovely. It’s tempting to give up on friendship because it can be messy and hurtful – but we need each other. How much better it is to “send the route,” as you say, with others!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara January 15, 2015 / 9:54 pm

    Thank you Karen for sharing this! Yes, I visualized it, too…and have not heard that expression either! So happy to know we have friends who “send life’s walls together” with us…whether they are friends known or friends shared through blogging and other online sources.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tara January 15, 2015 / 10:12 pm

    I didn’t know that’s what they call it “sending the route.” Way cool! God does give us awesome friends to send the route together. I’m so thankful for those people and how together we can experience all that the journey has to offer us!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anita Ojeda January 15, 2015 / 10:46 pm

    I love this! You are so right–we all need a friend to ‘send it’ with ;). In mountain biking, when you ascent a difficult hill without putting your foot/feet down, you ‘clean it’–my husband ‘cleans it’ a lot more often than I do, but it sure is fun to experience the climb together!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser January 16, 2015 / 12:30 am

    Dealing with my current physical “profile”, I have great support from a virtual community…but things have gotten so bad that there’s a definite dislocation from those who would actually be in my space.

    I’m trying to stay alive; they’re deciding what to wear, and where to eat. I’m an irritant, and they’re tourists in Hell.

    It sucks, but what the heck. This is the Alamo, my Alamo, and not a garden party. No need for a group hug and a few verses of Kumbaya.

    Send it. Me against everything, and I’ll leave a hole in the world when I go down.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Karen Brown January 16, 2015 / 6:06 am

      Andrew- Thank you for sharing your perspective. Your words here so powerfully describe your struggle: “I’m trying to stay alive; they’re deciding what to wear, and where to eat. I’m an irritant, and they’re tourists in Hell.” I’m praying for encouraging, knowing friends to support you. Yes- send it.


  7. Holly Barrett January 16, 2015 / 7:21 am

    Karen, it’s always easier to be sent with someone else. So good to have the common goal and the support to reach it. Enjoyed your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rachel Quigley January 16, 2015 / 7:54 am

    Eeeks! That picture just freaked me out! I don’t think I could do that…. camping out on a side of the mountain. But what a great word picture you painted —- Good job! And what an encouraging post…. don’t climb alone. And I am finding it’s friendships even online where we connect through the internet and encouraging one another as we travel! Thanks for these words!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. amypboyd January 16, 2015 / 9:27 am

    I am so thankful for all the friends – online and in(RL) – God has sent to travel this journey with me. So many times I need them to push me ahead or pull me to slow down. Thank you for the reminder and the support you have been in the #FMFparty group.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Christan Perona January 16, 2015 / 11:54 am

    I can’t believe you can write these posts in 5 minutes! God has gifted you to go deep fast and articulate your reflections so very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ssandrax January 16, 2015 / 11:54 am

    Thank you!!! You encourage me to climb that mountain that is waiting for me… But most specially I think about that friends that needs me by their side to climb their mountain too… May God bless you

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Julie LefebureJ January 16, 2015 / 2:54 pm

    Your encouragement today is a gift. Thank you, friend. I enjoyed your post, and I appreciate your timely words. Send it. Love it!


  13. lynndmorrissey January 16, 2015 / 3:08 pm

    This is so serendipitous Sheridan. I was just talking about this w/ a friend. Very inspiring!!! Your daughteris amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynndmorrissey January 16, 2015 / 4:09 pm

      Karen, I just called you by my daughter’s nAme. Sorry! Sometimes I have no idea where I’ve ladi my head.


      • Karen Brown January 16, 2015 / 4:25 pm

        Haha! I didnt cathch it at first because I read it as “Sheridan and I …” Don’t worry, my brain dropped off the cliff a long time ago. Thanks for reading and for your encouragement!


  14. ruidosomom January 17, 2015 / 2:18 pm

    What beautiful words. I feel as though I can almost imagine what it is like to send a wall. And trust me when I say, that is quite a stretch! But your words also speak truth. Together is so much stronger, so much more powerful, so much more joyful. Blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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