Monday, May 9, 2011

From head to heart

This weekend, I:
went to the farmer's market for the first time this season
attended and sang in a funeral
visited a baby boy
watched the sun set over a lake
and finally, cried.

It was a very emotionally intense weekend.  I am not an emotional person by nature-- on the Myer's Briggs test, I am definitely a Thinker, not a Feeler.  So it took me awhile to process everything, and I'm probably not done even yet.  But here's what I've got so far.

I went to the market because I woke up early with the sun streaming through my blinds and thought, "Today will be a good day."  I called up my friend Sami and got her to go with me.  It was sunny and breezy and there was a horse-drawn wagon: wonderful.

Then I drove down for the funeral.  As I said, I'm not a feeler, and the only way I know how to be of use at a funeral is to DO stuff.  So I made copies of things, and tried to be organized and efficient and helpful.  But hearing about Flo's life and her amazing faith did something to me, something I couldn't deal with at the time.  So I just kept on, staying in the moment and loving my friends and the music we made together.

Then I went to see the baby.  To hold that little child, just a month old, and know that he is God's, and God loves him more than I can possibly imagine, and that God loves me that way too, was stunning.  Going from celebrating the completeness of one woman's journey toward God, to holding someone so near the beginning of his journey, broke something open in me.  I couldn't put him down; I just kept singing hymns about God's love to him.  A couple times he looked right into my eyes and seemed to understand.

Driving home, I took the back roads through farm country.  The sun shone over recently tilled fields and through barely-there brand-new leaves, and I realized I needed to process all the emotion of that day.  So I stopped at the county park, walked down to the lake, and sat by the shore watching the sun go down.  It's amazing what you can see when you are not present in yourself, but present in God.  Herons, ducks, beavers (or maybe they were muskrats?), birds I can't even name, fish-- they swam and flew and lived around me, while I sang to myself and cried for reasons I still can't quite explain.  It was catharsis, it was good, and I felt better afterward-- I eventually had to get up and walk, run, dance, jump, do cartwheels around the lake because of the joy in my spirit.

Today at school, I loved all my students more than usual.  I accepted that they are two and three years old, and sinners, but that God loves them so deeply.  This made my day much easier; instead of seeing their misbehavior as annoying or irritating, I saw it as an opportunity to love them more.  Several times in the afternoon, I just picked one or another up and said over and over, "I love you so much, I love you love you love you!"

God is so, so good.  And God's love can't do anything except grow.  I went to the funeral because I love the people who are sad; while I was there I came to love Flo, the woman who died; afterwards I loved a month-old boy; and then I went on to love everyone else I see just a little bit more.

Open the eyes of our hearts to see the hope to which You've called us,
and the riches that we have received.
And show us Your strong power,
that resurrection power,
that's given to all who believe.
And grant us the faith to be rooted and grounded in love,
so we can all comprehend
what is the height, and the depth, and the length of Your love,
that never, never will end.

Dan Adler

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