Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hope Can Hurt

This was one of those perfect journaling mornings; when I wake up feeling a little melancholy, I get a dose of sunshine from a happy wife's happy greeting, I get in the car and hear the song I carefully cued last night to be the soundtrack for this morning's drive ("Your Love is Strong" by Jon Foreman), and I sing along with a bleary throat and with my tear-filled eyes fixed on the sunrise over my hood.  But, unfortunately, at that moment when I realized "this is a journal morning" it was too late- I had already left it at home.  So, if you don't mind the transparency, I need a journal this morning...

What I didn't tell you about my melancholy morning is that it began with a melancholy evening.  
My good friend (and yours) Dan just got engaged this past weekend to an absolute sweetheart.  Dan and his fiance were here in town last night to celebrate with family, so I was honored with a chance to see them for the first time in a while.  You know those friends who leave and then come back- when you're hanging out, it's like they never left.  Talking and laughing is just so... normal... and right.  Everything's back in place it seems, and for a while you forget what life was like missing him, if only for a couple hours at his engagement party.  

At one point I went to the restroom (don't worry, the rest of this sentence won't be so creepy) and had a sort of deja vu/reflective moment (okay, maybe that's creepy afterall).  But the point is that I closed the door to the restroom and suddenly remembered being 13, closing that very bathroom door for the first time.  The familiar loud creaks of the wood floors, the nostalgic smell of the house, and the voices of my "family" in the other room.  It's not my home.  But it felt like home to me.  

Returning to the party and seeing Dan there, I half expected to be returning to a game of Mario Cart or continuing the ongoing game, "Dan do the raptor!"  But the "grown up" Dan is laughing with his bride-to-be... and I couldn't be happier for him.  

As it came time to say goodnight, the happy forgetfulness of what life was like without him slowly began to drop like a smile.  As I made the rounds of hugs and handshakes and walked out to my car, I felt like a kid running away from home.  Like I had to make a purposeful choice to tear the normalcy from my own grip and leave it behind for the sake of the call forward.  I guess it's not that unlike ministry, or any area of calling; I want to feel safe like I'm home and never take another risk.  But God's not finished with Dan and Christina in CA yet- and he's not done teaching me perseverance yet either.  So, for the sake of that call forward, we said goodbye.

There's a certain hope in melancholy days.  I can't speak for others, but it always seems to rear its head in the midst of the happiest times, like my good friend Dan's visit home.  It's not sadness; it's painful hope for what's to come.