I got to spend some quality rimew yesterday with one of my best friends, who spontaneously made time for me. Have you ever noticed how good that feels, to have others appreciate your time? My dog Ella and I have been hanging out a lot since I’ve been home, and its nice to feel needed. I dont mean the side of needed where other people burden you, or disrespect you, or delight in any small measure of spiritual violence they can gain over you, hoping that that means authority,  I mean the sense of belonging and truth that can only come from love.

I’m still trying to figure out love. It doesn’t help how many people legitimately don’t know what it is. I wrote constantly in China, partially because I had a safe place that wasn’t at all like my home to spill my guts about reality, and partially because I had a lot to read from my Bible before damn near anything made sense. As a result, I understand a lot more about the gospel now, and what love looks like. I’ve gleaned a few small things, like how believing in people from a lot of compassion can be easily taken advantage of. But I tell you, there are so many more rocks that remain unturned and silly little riddles that bear unscrambling. Abiding in grace, I couldn’t find a way out of this if I tried.

I don’t think there is a bottom to love. There are a lot of things that come to an end, but from my own personal experience and also but not specifically scripture, the bottom hasn’t fallen out yet because there is no bottom. I can spend the rest of my life at peace in caring for other humans, and that doesn’t have to always make sense. Think of that. However much more time I have, potentially this happy or otherwise, figuring out what it means to love. Hell yeah I’d spend my life on that.

Another year until graduation, and its such bullshit what the world looks on as “accomplishment”. None of it holds a candle to the ability to genuinely care for me. Regardless of what my resume looks like, the capacity to invest in others blesses my life and it blesses those around me, and there is no greater joy than seeing my friends happy. Throughout my life I have wished that depth away because it makes life difficult when you are expected to explain it or have to deal with yet another person taking you for granted. I have a sneaking suspicion I will live to see it be more than a lighter blessing, and that there is a profound reason I cant wish that care away, and never have been able to. 

I remember what it was like to feel like I would die every day, and to have my mind and body fully inflamed by feeling either numb or dead. I cant believe that coming out of depression could have lead to such a high, incalculable ceiling, and that I would have become one of those people I hated because surely if they were happy, then they wouldn’t understand. How the hell did this become my life? Do people not keep going, once they start to recover? Or is it simply that you can’t rise from all that without grace? Time and time again, I don’t know how it’s possible to have the true vine and not take it. The only cure you need, and I’m not speaking metaphorically. Before, I would have gutted me like a fish for saying something like that. I cant tell you how much is changing.

God as my witness, I don’t want to live in a world that doesn’t know what it is to be this happy. I guess that brings in the bit about “letting your light shine”, and I know I can do that. But if you truly love someone, isnt it right to hope they would know how overwhelming happiness could feel like? That they could be blessed? Praying for some company, and a lot more blessing to be brought into the world. Everything that scares us could change, if we just knew what it is to abide.


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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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