'She sits still. The fountain sprays outside of the gazebo and she can almost feel the water hit and slide across her skin. She's renewed. Everything that had her heart faded to dust and now she stands taller, stronger, wiser than ever before. Nothing will stop her. It is as if every person on earth is shouting but nothing is coming from their mouths. It seems to be that everything around her is moving, moving faster and faster, faster than she's ever seen. But she is somehow outside of every single piece of it. She feels the ghosts of strangers pass from all over, every corner of the earth, talking, moving, living, but they don't make any noise. All she hears is the person she's becoming. He's got her ears and the sound is so loud, so elastic. It bends and shapes everything she sees and hears. Everything is bathed in the presence of eternity.'
Completely out of breath and dripping with sweat I write passionately against the side of the gazebo in the park. Four weeks ago I walked past the red circular structure with the boy I love through a mist that curled my bangs and put a huge a smile on my face. Yet on that night, as well as two months full of nights on my own, something huge went unaddressed, unattended, uncared for. I look out across the water as the sun begins to attach itself to the tops of the trees enclosing the lake. I sit there and feel the ticking of time again. This is me, I think. I've been running from all that I am. A smile swims its way through me and erupts and I am glad the whole park can see. Sometimes I feel more appreciated by nature than people. Nature is what sees this, knows this, knows me. Because nature is a part of Him, and He knows. I kick off my green slip ons, the insides now torn from my late night dance-runs, and let my feet brush the smooth plank of wood beneath me. I feel like I am at every place I have ever been all at once. That is how He makes me feel. Like everything about me, all my history, accumulates and re-happens in one single moment within me, all while in His presence. I smile and the pen moves.
'She sits rapidly. She's on the bench but her heart pounds its way all over the world she's walked on, the world she knows. The world You've given to her, offered to her in love. There is too much for her to embrace. It is so beautiful and so overwhelming that the weight of it presses her to a still. All she can do is think and feel and write rapidly, steering anxiously away from the flesh. The Spirit has won the pursuit.'
I look up and gaze straight ahead. That is what we lacked. I whisper as I trace the curved path parallel to the gazebo with my eyes. I frequently interact very closely with the physical things around me as if my emotions are uniquely linked to their presence. I look at the path and felt that night, all over again. The way I had felt happy but not joyful. Flesh but not spirit. In my notebook this morning I wrote down a verse that correlates with worldly adhesion to the flesh in light of faith.
Romans 8: 9-10
"You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit...If Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is alive because of righteousness."
I look out to the water once more, the words cycling in my head. The air picks them up and carries them to relevance. For months, I realize, I have tried to revert to living fully in the world. I've tried to live for the world, within the world, in hopes that maybe the Spirit might let me go and set me back down to a purposeless life of pleasure once more. But this is what the heart protests against! This is what I have been relieved from! For months I ran away in defiance, but the Spirit remained intact inside of me as promised, persistently begging for my return, out of love.
He has taken my life, made me his, and will not leave. The devil sits powerless, defenseless. He may win for a night, or even two months full of nights, but he can never destroy the restlessness produced by his distractions. It is there, and fighting it is the most nonsensical battle I've ever taken part in. Fighting Him is fighting the gift of salvation entrusted to His children. Fighting Him is pushing away a freedom from the world and the promise for eternal life for those who live in faith.
You are made for more. You are designed for more. You are created for a life that is bigger and fuller than this. The Spirit of the Lord is yearning to dwell in you daily, to transform and renew you. To prepare you for a life with Him and by Him that never ends. I sit here and write and feel nothing but the weight of the irrelevance of the world around me. The world is ending, and I am living on. Today is a fraction of eternity. An eternity that splits apart, tapers off in two directions. And all I can do is choose Him and encourage you to do the same through my words.
If we wanted to, the boy and I could dance in the street again. He could pick me up, spin me around, and love me all over again. But it wouldn't be the same. Because I cannot be merely of the flesh. I cannot return to the flesh. The Spirit lives in me, reigns in me, and cannot reside comfortably unaddressed. I have been captured and pursued by the one who made me, and made you, and it is more than I could ever ask for. I long for every person that reads this to be overwhelmed by the gift He promises to those who long to know and pursue Him- the gift of not being forever, for this we already are. But living forever, in Him.
We'll dance again.