“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” Saint Augustine
It is preparation for what's coming next and I know it, and I've known it, but much the way a band-aid stings from the pull because it's time to take it off, I wince with anticipation.
Slow or fast doesn't matter, it still doesn't feel very good.
This is the Summer of Leaving, a time to close old doors and open new. Old doors are closed softly, turning the knob so the click is barely detectible, something she's never learned in real life. In real life she closes hard and fast and wakes the sleeping (and the dead), miraculously deaf to the unintended slam.
The wisest understand that closing old doors shouldn't be accompanied by burning bridges; sometimes you might wanna sneak back in and visit a while and you need a way back in. Nothing wrong with that and a whole lot right.
New doors are flung open and marched through, expectation on one sleeve and exploration on the other. Both arms embrace the unwritten, the unknown becoming known, and story being told in moments not days. Love story, adventure novel, mystery, poetry, comedy and drama will thread together to produce life's fabric, vibrant and tested and beautiful. It is cloak we all wear, every garment unique.
This week she is gone, an adventure with friends to serve the least of these. They're living a thousand stories, each one as precious as the other, and they're changing. History is being made and future is forever altered and I wonder if they can sense this recalibration. They are a band of brothers, loving people ragged and worn, and I mean that every way it can be taken.
This is Kingdom come, this is Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
So I call her because I want to hear at least one of these precious stories, and in one sentence, I'm reminded of my place and of preparation and of the Summer of Leaving. "Mom, I can't wait to tell you everything, but…"
She is busy watching spectacular performance art by a Master Creator.
"…we're watching a lightning shower…"
"Oh…GO!" I tell her, knowing how much I'd love to be right there with her. This makes me love her so much I can barely stand it, her kindred appreciation for, and delight in, night skies alive, slivers of power and light. Power and Light.
This is me living in her and I'm thankful our blood mingles in this.
"It's okay, we'll talk tomorrow," I assure her, and again I say, "Go…"
But the truth is, she's already gone.