The answer to love is "yes"
Can I speak of summer? The air is perfect. The sun makes me flush when entering a room. It’s very much like first love, at least how I know it to be.
The romance came flooding back to me at a weekend concert. Exactly the kind of romance I’ve been chasing the past year. It had nothing to do with a guy. It was the cyclical turn of evening and that soft blue light on the horizon that made me reach for a word like “perfection” but land only near it. It was a crowd voicing a melody by heart. It was not being alone.
It’s was the very last thing expected, at least that’s how all the stories start, when love happens. They tell the story of how they met:
“I was just going to the grocery store in sweats..you know…not caring at all how I looked in the RedBox line…”
“We were at this wedding…”
“We were such good friends, I never considered it. He just kept coming over and making me sandwiches and that’s when I realized it.”
Love is like that lost sock you had entirely forgotten about, then out of the wild blue mystery, it appears in the oddest of places, and you say “There you are” almost like you knew it would be. One of the better parts of being single is that you can revel in the stories of others without the disappointing experience of comparing it to your own. Because to you, it hasn’t happened yet.
I know this sounds strange, but something I’ve missed about myself, something I used to do better was getting lost in other people’s stories. I felt more deeply. I connected more tenderly with beauty. I meditated on truth.
I think I am coming home to that part of myself
This past year has been littered with sadness in love. And having a heart has felt more like scraping gum off the pavement. It’s hard, and I just don’t want to do it anymore. I tried the unfeeling side of myself, the side that doesn’t care about people’s loves or hopes, the kind that doesn’t wonder in God-sized dreams because displacing those emotions seemed wiser, a conservation of energy. My logical side went into overdrive, making everything around me turn cold.
There were times this year that I wanted to check my own pulse. What does that mean to you? For me it’s facing the decision to feel again.
More a wanderer than a settle-down-and-stay, the trouble is you can start to lose yourself. The soil under your roots grows thin, and setbacks and delays can rattle your cage. Love’s pull on our hearts is revolutionary, and something to take in. It brings us back from the dead and grants the supernatural power to do something categorically unwise. That is to hope, however many times we will scrape off the pavement what is left, we will learn how love’s meant to stick. One day it will.
Have you chased love down, held it in your wild hands, even for a second, then let it go?
Or did you protect yourself, cut losses, do the practical thing and settle into the slow drift everyone else follows. Did you taste something good in it? Of course you did. Dear God, don’t give up. Focus. Don’t become another one of those fools who leans back to far in critic’s chair and lets life slip out from beneath her. Put your ear up against the pulse of love and stay alive. Let it sing you to sleep in all your worry. Take deep long breaths that reach past the shallows of what your bank account can buy and your career can secure.
When you listen, your thoughts of despair cannot crowd out another’s voice. God has meant us all for relationship. Don’t give into that penchant for running. Stay and sit in being known, and your fears will start to unravel. Your fears will be undone and God alone will begin to make the sad things, the hard things, and the wayward paths straight beneath your feet. Because he’s God, you know.
Don’t hedge in the wildness of his Spirit in you
Let him instruct, correct, guide and delight exactly how he wants to. He wants you relish the moments when you feel alive. He wants you to stay in the fight and more than ever, he wants your heart to feel. There’s nothing he loves more than you. And when it all starts to sound like happy self talk, just remember what’s been done.
He took the last option left on the table so you could have the guest seat. He listened to other’s pain. He sat in the messy emotion of humanity had had relationship with fickle friends and foolishly longwinded people who would drive you halfway to crazy town. He loves you like breathing, so you don’t need to hold your breath anymore. The answer to love is yes. He chose to be your father. Be his child.