What do I love …

What do I love when I love Thee? Not the beauty of bodies nor the fair harmony of time nor the brightness of the light so gladsome to our eyes nor sweet melodies of varied songs, nor the fragrance smell of flowers, not limbs acceptable to the embracements of the flesh, none of these things I love when I love my God.

But–and yet, I love a kind of light melody fragrance meet and embracement when I love my God but they are those which space cannot contain, which time cannot bare way, they are smells that breathing cannot disperse, they are tastes that eating cannot diminish.

This is what I love when I love my God.

An excerpt from Timothy Keller’s sermon on Peace, via a brilliant St. Augustine and the Confessions.

When you love God supremely, you will find that what you have been loving in all things are actually of God. 

 

A Romantic

There is nothing more enjoyable than witnessing good, true love. I don’t see it often, but during the handful of times I do, I’m reassured and rested in the story God has so configured and arranged for us, for me.

And because I’ve been close to such good story, I’ve had the opportunity to write a toast for a very good friend of mine’s wedding. A day where all things point to completion and also contemplation. All that to say, below is the speech I wrote which has found it’s way to infiltrate my current thought life in a way that says YES to the things I doubt and no to the things I anxiously and dangerously crave.

For as long as I’ve known M, I’ve known the word strong. The kind of strength that doesn’t boast, that doesn’t pry and that doesn’t seclude. But the kind that’s legible like a good story you love to hear and want to be reminded of over and over again.  Or the kind that’s contagious like her laughter (or laughter itself) so that when you are around it, you feel utterly joyful. The strong that is remarkably not afraid to be vulnerable, with fault or ironically, to be alone.

 For as long as I’ve known G, I’ve known the word protector. It’s by his grasp of knowledge of both the human mind and the holy heart, by his sass fused with kindness and by his patience and aspirations, that G has proved to be the beyond suitable and a true protector of the past, present and future of my best friend, M. 

CS lewis says it best concerning this kind of love I witness before me when he states that

The Inventor of the human machine (God) was telling us that it’s two halves, male and female were made and meant to be combined.

And I so believe that because without M—without strength, protection is incomplete. Just the same, without protection, without G, strength seems kind of foolish. But together, when combined, these two things become a force you cannot interrupt and  refuse to ever withhold, because you want to share this kind of love, give truth to it’s fanciful shadows…all because it’s fruition, a completion of love itself…and all in the form of a man and his wife. Paradoxically, of Christ and his Church.

To the man and the wife, who have been the languishing patients for  proper and patient love. May there be calm in the unknown, comfort in solitary, victory in hardship and may there be of course, the endless reminder that He who created that extravagant idea of true love is as real as the flesh that stands beside you today and forever.

To You It May Concern,

I’ve had the pleasure to know you, to hear your heart, to feel your lows and to celebrate your highs. And this came blatantly to tangible fruition recently as I entered the next chapter of my life in celebration with you beside me. Whether by presence, by words, by prayer or simply by that one conversation we had in that one enclosed space for what felt like at least the afternoon, you are my concern and I’m thankful for you.

Your friendship has been a goodness that I’m learning that gives me courage to unclench my fist around the things I thought I was protecting my whole life. Around the things I didn’t trust anyone with, until you showed me that heavy hands are not meant to be in bondage nor that freakin’ heavy.

You are wiser than me in ways I lack and I more than you in yours, and the wisdom that intertwines our dialogues have woven in me bridges of humility, challenge, and well, a lot of lofty and powerful metaphors concerning the intricacies of my insides all to reach the heart of my heart that have essentially healed me with freedom to. just. be.

And that has been the kind of heavy I’m learning to cling toward. The weight that does not drag but drives.

So thank you for the space you create with your affirming head nods, your discreet you know better than this look in your eyes, your insistent posture of honesty and anti-bullshit, your vulnerability that sharpens my own vulnerability and simply your friendship and love that pours into my life at the speed of what feels divinely guided and grandiose.

To you, this may concern.

 

/t

Knots in my head, on my head.

I feel impending like the lack from the knotted twine lugging up a love weightier than it’s counterpart. Like the sum of my misplaced heart and an abstract heart, I’m a whole disguised by a half by something holy and woefully indebted to Eternity’s gift of eternity. I can grasp the lesser Known more than what I call my own. And this protects the anxious I call my hunger, my posture, my heart. But the bright circle turns into a dark circle and a new day is born, torn from a “no” and a “not yet” and a times a “never”–but torn. And so my hunger, posture and heart are in a civil war because I forget my grasp is from my hand, and my palms are often human. Sometimes it is I who lack when I do not accept to know the Known and so the unknown takes hold of me. And now there knots are in my head, or on my head–but they are knots, tangled within each other forming treaties to obstruct my pace and my peace. Knots that loosen me to drop below and far from my counterpart, from my Love.

But the dark circle, of my eyes while more the sky, turns into a bright circle. With or without a head nod, there lies a circumference of comfort that corals any impending into arrival.

Remember knotted head, remember.

Blessed are my eyes, though weak and old and one of a kind–and terrible at flirting.

You know what a wretch is?

I’m a wretch. Carefully crafted in piles of forgiveness, restoration and renewal.

My hands are dry after embarking on this grapefruit and cramp often too. I write a lot these days, it does nobody good. But it is good (the act of not necessarily the content)! My nail polish chips as I tap out some hopefully decent words to produce some fruitful responses. Did I mention they are sparkly silver? A woman I am.

My eyes are my mother’s. Older, weaker and one of a kind. I’ve seen a lot with these and only hope to see more. But lately I’ve seen a skinny bearded man fall in love, best friends packing up their life away from mine and a lot of bills and thrills in the form of paper and dapper gentlemen. These stress and mess with me. Blessed are my eyes, though weak and old and one of a kind–and terrible at flirting.

My soul is whole though continual pokes and prodding from onlookers and outsiders and outlaws of Easybreezyville are adamant. Soul is stronger than life, so this bodes well considering a year filled with uneven ratios of mishaps and missing/wanting/needing/disliking people, things, circumstances. Soul is whole. Period. I guess. YES.     .

My mouth is chapped from the Santa Anas (oh and that damn grapefruit). It’s also a lifesaver in the line of defense when encountering my foes (doubt, hunger, mundane living and the flu…)–whether in writing, speaking, singing or tasting. My mouth is also really small which is for some reason disheartening and makes me feel odd. Like an outsider.

My love is still deep, pure and lovely. My love is for the Father, love for Jesus, love for bffs, love for family, love for a good cup of coffee, love for a brilliant sentence, love for a delicious lamb shank pie, love for a glass of wine, love for many things yet still not for one tall, dark and handsome one. (Perhaps my luck will change if I grow a beard and get skinny).

All in all, sometimes I wish I could fly and yet sometimes the sky is frightening. So it turns into a dream of floating rather than flying. Depending how brave I feel in that moment. A human I am.

I am many things. And am all these things but paired with prayer. Which makes me prayer itself. A prayer faced daily with the interchangeable definitions of what good and bad are to me. And carried thus victoriously by the words that turn me into a bravery that says yes again and again to what I easily forget: forgiveness, restoration and renewal upon my house. And for my eyes, soul, heart and love.

I am made new and well by the impeccably steadfast truth of what prayer does from the mouth of wretch, of a woman, of a human.

 

Take heart, my loves.

I love you and value you because

You make others feel at home

You make laughter erupt in any room you occupy.

You try knowing failure never outweighs success.

You try.

You love unconditionally and inconveniently.

You are an emotional space, available 24/7.

You are active in your search for better.

You ache with others as well as rejoice.

You are emotional stability and when you’re not, you are at least familiarity.

You came from a nothing to what now looks likes something.

You pray for me without inquiring, support me without contesting.

You tie my shoes in the rain (if I ask/my hands are full holding your warm drink and/or pastry).

You face your infirmities with vulnerability that is inspiring.

You count on me, just as much as is expected.

You will more than gladly buy a first AND second cup of coffee before ever expecting I buy you one.

You run the race with a humility that I try to mimic very often.

You embrace change and cling to a foundational force.

You accept my somber soul, without inquiry or countering, but remind me there is light.

You inspire me and others, solely by being your authentic self.

You stretch the boundaries of safe.

You gladly harmonize with me because I’m terrible at it.

You foolishly continue to try teaching me how to roller blade, like dogs, and/or run a marathon.

You wish the best for me and all before the best comes for you.

You believe in “bests.”

You speak with Truth that permeates my curiosity.

You keep a close watch on the beings and things you love, just so you know I love you and value you.

I love romantic candy.

Last night I paced the grocery aisles trying to figure out what it was I needed for a chocolate souffle I swore I’d make myself next Valentines Day, because last Valentine’s Day I drank too much red wine and the only thing I made was a fuss about how I hadn’t any romantic or close-to-romantic prospects–that and how I learned even guys have low self-esteem too and I could only do so much beyond my sweet-smelling hair and endearing charm. And since I have yet to have any type of romantic entanglements during this year’s terrible candy and flying babies-influenced holiday, I figured, I freakin’ deserve that chocolate souffle I promised to my newer self. And for extra gumption, I’m getting a heart-shaped cutter (and avoiding all forms of flirting via text messages). I’m going all out with my solo-self and with some hard labored sweets.

Speaking of sweet, I believe it was a young, talented and Canadian pop-star who said, “I just need somebody to love.”

Such words whether said or sung, carry weight and wisdom and an adamant vertical head nod.  That very saying is one that delightfully tolls and tramples my insides both at the same time. Yet after momentary disdain of such a relevant statement, I’m left with the catered and massive space to respond. To myself, to others–and all by how I probably decide to live out my life–or maybe just that day, the 14th.

The plan?

To spend it with the many somebodies I love. And I guess it’s not the fact that I need somebody to love, more so that I need them all to know I love them. So though romancing a simple woman seems like Everest (insert underlying compliment comparing me to a very difficult accomplishment meets breathtaking wonder of the world) romancing about a handful of them will be easier and my very intention is to share my immense appreciation for the many someones I care for so deeply and  to realize and treasure how one day, I won’t be able to do this type of celebrating. So as of right now, I’m wildly glad I am able to.

So when the whole world celebrates their romantic lives and judges mine for the lack roses and over-priced chocolates underneath my arms, at least I will be abundant in story-sharing, braided heads of hair, advice on how to say yes/no to them fellas, wisdom on learning lessons the hard and/or graceful way and lastly sweet decadent desserts of many, MANY kinds.

Doubt My Love

I got it so I flaunt it; my capability to love.

I’m temperamental, fickle and almost always moody, but swear I’m a catch (who’ll catch your arms and limbs) —-so [never] doubt my love.

Never doubt my love because my brows are furrowed. When I speak louder it is only because it is windy outside countered by your hard of hearing.

Never doubt my love because my fingers create stark white imprints across your arms, I just want you to feel near.

Never doubt my love because of the silence that often  evades from my mouth, my thirsty thoughts internally praise your name like a whisper touching an ear–may it sink into your bones.

Never doubt my love because I am sad often for sadness has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me.

Never doubt my love because I’m disappointed, but my fingers are pointed more at the enemy, than at you my friend.

Never doubt my love because I cannot stay later, but I can come over earlier.

Never doubt my love when your angry sun is out and my stubborn moon retreats.

Never doubt my love because i’m weak, and  I say yes when it should be no, or no when it should be yes.

Never doubt, my love.