She’s Careful Like a Surgeon.

I’d seen him before in concert, sitting on a couch mere inches from his face… I knew to expect songs that’d make my heart swoon and stories that would cause the awkward giggle-snort to escape before I could pretend to be too cool.

Instead of a restaurant over the canal like the year before, that night found my feet stuck to a beer-splattered hardwood floor in an old church-turned-coffee-house that was roughly the same temperature as a baby chick incubator.

The girls threw their curls up in ponytails, the boys shed their jackets, I snuck around when security wasn’t looking & opened all the windows, and together we rocked & rolled.

Every concert crowd wants to feel special, we blush & cheer at compliments from artists who probably had no idea what city they’d arrived in till about four minutes before walking on stage.

And yet, it was a tad different tonight.
He stepped to the mic and thanked Indy for being a bit of family… for supporting him in droves for at least ten years.
He said that because of the history, the sense of familiarity, he felt comfortable playing the old ones… songs that today’s try-to-hard-hipsters wouldn’t even recognize.

And he strummed, and he opened his mouth, and “She drives down on Sunset, with the windows down, just so she can let it in… she knows he’s far gone now, but there still are pieces, pieces here still left of him.” spilled out.

And that was it.
And I was a goner.

Because, and Hillsong & Enya you’ll just have to forgive me… it’s the one song… the mostly unknown song… that soothes me from the first strum.  I’ve sat alone or driven alone or laid alone and just breathed with those lyrics on repeat for years;  feeling comforted for who-knows-what-reason.
And what reason do any of us really have to explain our favorite song?

But here I was with my feet glued to the maple by a dozen tacky layers of Heineken, not even trying to keep it all in.  I had my hand over my heart and my eyes clenched tight, and my mouth forming around every syllable I had memorized, because in that moment I felt loved totally by surprise.  It’s as if my God just wisped a curl behind my ear and stood with a solid hand on my shoulder while I swayed… that moment was just for me.
I can count on one hand the times I’ve felt a moment was orchestrated just for me.
It’s the sweetest and shakiest and most overwhelming sense I’ve known.

Do we feel the most loved when the love comes as a surprise?

Do bouquets on our birthday feel less special than on just another Tuesday?
Do I expect to hear that I’m pretty when there is glitter & gloss involved, but does it reach deeper in my heart when you’ve seen this dress before?

I’m finding myself stuck in an odd place when it comes to love.

It’s on my mind to love better and it’s on my heart to love well every day, it’s an exhausting constant ribbon of thought that streams through me neverendingly.  I fall apart at the thought that I could’ve done it differently, done it better, done it at all.

And the other night I sat twisting my fingers at the dining room table trying to write out words of love to someone I wanted them to wash over, and I felt so completely inadequate.
Pen capped, I locked my twisting fingers into folded hands, tipped my chin down… and then gave up and put my head flat against the table and stretched my arms out in flailing hand gestures while I talked to God.

My words sped out fast…fast…faster… without time to think about them first…

“I can’t do this.  I am failing.  I don’t know how to do this.  I don’t know how you want me to do this. I don’t feel loved. I don’t feel like I love the right way.  I don’t know if You love me.  I don’t know how to want You to love me.  I don’t love You well.  I desperately want to be loved.  How does this work Lord?
I guess I don’t know because I’ve never felt treasured.”

And that was it.
And I was a goner.

I opened my eyes wide and opened my mouth wide and gasped as if I was coming up for air.

How…wait…what did I…wait…did I…why would…
And before I could talk myself out of it, it hit me.

Truth bubbles up in those honest prayers.  Surprising truths that break our hearts.

I have never felt treasured.

I have felt loved.  I have felt funny.  I have felt heard.  I have been hugged well & gifted well & prayed for well.
But I have never felt adored.

Every little girl deserves that, every grown woman deserves that, every person deserves that.  And to put words to the heavy ache I’ve carried around unnamed for twenty-eight years made me sink.

Why was I not worth treasuring?  Why am I not worth adoring? What have I done wrong? Why am I not enough?

I sobbed.
There, alone at the dining room table on a weeknight.

Does that make you shake your head? Do you feel uncomfortable or awkward at the thought?
Yea… me too.

He’s designed days and minutes full of love, but it’s the in-between weeks & months & years where I feel that love must’ve gotten lost somewhere.
Do you do well holding on to something you felt once until you feel it again.
How do you do it?

How do you assume the best, assume the heart, assume the good without the shivers & butterflies & answers & tenderness, & solidity that comes with the being shown, the being held, the being told?

How do you want to be loved? Or do you want to keep that little secret to yourself?
Because those that really want to love you, well, they’ll figure it out.
Right?

So, what now?
Do I make requests? Do I make demands?

Or do I sit awkwardly waiting for the love to sneak up? Love that’ll make me stand with my hand over my heart & my eyes clenched tight… almost in disbelief that you mean it, all while swimming in fat rolling waves of hope that it’s real…
that it’s true…
that you do…

C’mon Love…

surprise me.

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One Response

  1. I always look so forward to your posts. Thank you for sharing.

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