Tonight is inexplicable

Tonight, for some reason, I am filled with a most-unspeakable and inexplicable joy. For the first time since my move to DC, there is a settledness of spirit, a calmness of character. There is a renewed hope in my calling, a reinvigorated sense of freedom in God, a restored feeling of confidence in my own creative abilities and in what I hear God speaking to me.

The fire in my belly to create music and to perform and to put my faith into song is back. The passion to write the words (and perhaps books) that I believe God has put on my heart is back. The yearning to live with and laugh with and lead and love the people of God is back.

Perhaps it was the gig I played at on Friday night, where I was reminded of the great joy and satisfaction–a certain assuredness or perhaps even a sense of divine approval–that comes with using the gifts that God has graciously given me.

Perhaps it was the conference I attended this weekend–RootsCampDC–a gathering of progressive organizers. At RootsCamp, I encountered kindred spirits of all ages and colors, and my hope for change and the power of people working together was renewed.

Perhaps it was getting to talk with my dear friend Kate, whom I love and miss dearly, and whom I could best describe–and not exaggerating all that much–as the person in whom I see the peace and love of God embodied. Every time I talk to Kate, I’m reminded not only of God’s perspective on life, but I’m also humbled by how he is at work in her life in ways great and small–and simply because she has given him the space in her life to work.

Perhaps it was the decisions that I made at the start of the Lenten season already beginning to bear fruit.

All I know is … God is good. He’s showing me the path and urging me to go, like a father encouraging his toddler to venture out.

So I go.

Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

–Matthew 19:26

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A whirlwind romance, chaos and all

Here’s a short story I wrote back in October 2007 …

She was full of life and energy, a breath of fresh air, and she exploded into my life one summer. It wasn’t like my life was particularly boring or meaningless up till then, so when I say that she was a spark, it means that she really was. Quick-witted, quick to laugh, quick to become attached.

I fell fast. My dad used to say that we don’t ‘fall’ in love; we always have a choice about who we love. I don’t think we can choose or simply decide not to feel certain emotions, to feel certain ways—all we can do is decide what to do with those feelings and emotions. All I know is, the moment I saw her, I was in over my head. And that was the start of it.

She made me step outside of my comfort zone. Because of her, I’d do things I never thought I would—cast aside responsibilities far too tightly-gripped, act spontaneously, step out on a limb. Sometimes, when I had time to catch my breath, I’d wonder if I was becoming more or less myself. She challenged me, tested me, stretched me, with late-night conversations, penetrating comments accompanied by sly smiles while her eyes glittered with mischief. She made me feel completely comfortable in my skin for the first time in years. Every touch was intoxicating, every word inebriating, every laugh breathtaking. She was like no one I’d ever met.

I suppose the term for what happened would be a ‘whirlwind romance’. The ‘whirlwind’ part is especially apt: she came in without warning, stirred stuff up and threw it all around, and then left as quickly as she’d appeared. She said that I knew her so well that it scared her away. I never did understand that.

“Isn’t it a good thing to know someone well?” I asked.

“I’m complicated,” was all she said. But her smile wasn’t reflected in her eyes.

Isn’t it funny how a person can turn your world upside down and make you laugh, make you hurt? And yet that person may not be the one you spend the rest of your life with. Coz I’m realizing that if you open yourself up, there are lots of people who can turn your world upside down and make you laugh, make you hurt, and not be the one that you spend the rest of your life with. Maybe that’s just the way it is; maybe that’s just the way of life.

Before she left, I wrote her a letter and left it on her table. I don’t think I said those three words. But I meant them.

“You’ve captured my heart, dear friend. You looked at me, and I fell in love. One look my way and I was hopelessly in love.” (Song of Songs 4:9)