It’s one of those rare days where the sunshine calls us into its light and we have the freedom to follow. Yearning to feel the wind whip our faces, my man and I hop on his Harley, but every stop sign and every intersection, there’s a traffic jam. An obstacle course to our rush.
But we are off today; we have no where to be and no timeframe to get there. He turns up his music, and Young Oceans sweep us into their worship. I realize that from our very first ride together, almost 25 years ago, I have loved to listen to his music.
He’s the quiet type, my man, so every word that escapes his lips, I cherish. But something about meeting him in his playlist takes me deeper into him, but also wider into our one vision. Right there, between stop and go in North Miami, my soul breaks out of the traffic rut and soars into the sphere of wider perspective where I feel most free.
I’m turning fifty next month. Exactly half my life lived on this continent, even in this city that has been the most chaotic, colorful, flavorful setting I could have wished for. I could not be more grateful as I reflect back.
Even before Jesus swept me into His arms and gave substance to my longings, I made a vow that I would hold nothing back. Terrified to live some orderly, organized life where form and function choked out the soul, I flung myself into whatever intense cause I could find, a moth in search of a flame.
Though I later reluctantly became familiar with the dark side of most ideologies, I’m still grateful for the pull towards the revolution fires. Zeal for the ideal is the fingerprint of God, a compass carefully placed in the human heart to guide us back to His.
Back on the motorcycle, we finally break free to ride the speed of the highway, the sun caressing our backs, the drums and synthesizers bursting in our chests. The longing to be flung, body, soul, and spirit into life, into love, free of the mundane, free of the constant circumspection of sin.
The first twenty five years here, by the grace of God and the invaluable army of ragamuffins that became our people, we pioneered a church, raised and homeschooled our children, and took in a few who needed a home along the way.
The first twenty five years here were a beautiful bootcamp for discipline and balance. A constant tug-of-war between seemingly conflicting priorities, it felt at times like the fire inside was spread so thin, it was only smoldering memories of youthful dreams.
But He sustained the embers with which we were entrusted.
And He sustained us, especially in the dark nights where even flickers seemed out of of reach.
I’m turning fifty, as my man has eye on his upcoming senior citizen discounts. And I’m savoring this moment.
My life’s first trimester was characterized more by wildfires than life-giving passions. Whoever said youth is wasted on the young was right – we didn’t have the wisdom to hone our savage strength.
My second gave birth to so much, and the joy of watching those lives rise in their own passions would be enough. Swelling with gratitude, I would be deeply satisfied if this was it.
But if this ride doesn’t kill us, I’m turning my wrinkled face to the last trimester. I feel like a young horse after a pint up winter. I can smell the new season, and I’m itching to run. To fly.
As a child and even young adult, I would look starlight into the sun, just because I loved the feeling. My optometrist sighs and tells me it shows. My eyes sight is terrible, but oh, I love fire. Older and wiser now, I long to let it loose again, not my own, but the fire of God who burns to love His kids and show them His beauty and free them from all lesser flames.
I long to look into His eyes till my sin is burned away, till my whole being is one flame of His to warm this cold earth and illuminate my world with His fire.
“Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;” (Revelation 1:12-15)
“I want to hear You say well done
I want to be welcomed in
I want to feel Your love like sunshine
On my resurrected skin
I want to hear the music play
I want to hear the trumpets sound
I want to hear You call my name
And watch my feet lift off the ground”