Nights like these are intended for time spent around a fire with a good book and hot chocolate, but I find myself leaving the warmth inside for the chill outside. Heavy thoughts seemed to grow exponentially with each moment spent inside; I had to go outside as I feared the small space could no longer hold them. I could no longer hold them. I had to see them in the open air. They don’t seem so big out here.
I think about Ben Lee’s words about the city and how it’s living proof that people need to be together, how people leave their houses for the day, solely for the affirmation that they are not alone.
I think about kids who have been moved from foster home to foster home and never really experiencing the feeling of home.
I think about the woman I talked with who lost her husband to cancer, how she found out she had cancer a month before he died, but never told him.
I think about my nephew, Collin, who is celebrating his birthday today. I wish I could be there to watch him blow out his candles and hear him laugh and delight in a celebration and the feeling of being loved.
I think about the kids I dearly miss in Malawi, how their faces decorate my office and how often I find myself praying with all my heart to see them again.
I think about my friends, how they are all over the world now, doing amazing things with their unique giftings, how they inspire me and how I am better for knowing them.
I think about scars. A sign of the fight we’ve fought. A sign that though we’ve been hurt, we survive.
I think about the generosity of people and how a coffee shop community sent me to
I think about Christmas Eve, how my Uncle’s house (straight out of Christmas Vacation) is lit so other planets could see and how we all stand on the porch as the Christmas fire struck stops in front of the house playing carols on its loudspeaker.
I think about my grandmother, who was citizen of the year on our little island years ago, who walked in a parade on her 80th birthday, who is slowly drifting farther from us as she sleeps a little more and remembers a little less everyday.
I think about love and risk and pray that the desire to love would outweigh the risk it takes to love.
I thought about the barista who danced with that sweet old lady on the warm day right there in the middle of the coffee shop and the smile that stayed on her face long after the dance ended.
I think about insecurities and imperfections and how they consume us and spread like cracks in ice.
I think about the wars, conflict and injustices happening right now and wish it all to be over, for the heavy burdens to be lifted, for redemption.
I think about heaven and what it would look life if heaven spilled over the Earth.
I think about those broken souls that I am drawn to, with their broken pieces exposed and vulnerable, who’ve been dealt a bad hand but refuse to fold, the resilient ones who remind me that life is for living.
I think about this morning’s sermon and Luke’s prayer that we all fall broken upon the cornerstone (Luke 20:17-18) and recognize our need for a savior. As we lay in a million little pieces, we long for the one who can put our pieces together.
These thoughts are too big for my small apartment. They need to breathe. I need to breathe. I watch my breath rise in the night air and dance in the glow of streetlights and fog.
I find solace in the visual affirmation of life; salvation under my breath.