Someone who inspires me to be a better version of myself.
Nay, someone who inspires me not just to be better, but to want to keep growing. To never stop moving forward for as long as my lungs continue to draw breath. Someone with a passion for life and living that cannot be contained, that all who encounter him come away changed in some way. Even if only just a little. Someone who keeps me on my toes. Not to earn his love, but because that’s what incredible love does: it embraces all that you are to the point that you couldn’t help but want to be more. To live more fully. To give more.
A good listener. Someone who knows how to connect. With whom you have room to move, to ponder. An unassuming soul with whom you could freely share in world’s wonders – yes, quite like the way children do. With whom you could question and conclude, and eventually be content with questions alone. Someone who takes a genuine interest in what moves you, and is unafraid of letting you in on what compels his days. What fuels him to do what he does.
A leader. Someone with a vision for his time on earth. Whose dreams border an expanse far beyond his own comprehension, not because he is truly amazing and knows it, but because what – Whom – he lives for has called him to it. Yes, he is well aware of his calling, and will live for nothing less. Someone who knows his Maker, and lives to make Him known.
What crazy adventures we’ll have as a team! I thought, lost in reverie.
And then God said, “Johna, it sounds like you’re describing Me.”
It rained the evening of a good friend’s dance recital. I was on the bus, feeling every inch spent from work, listening to Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow’s ‘Collide.’ The windows were a waterfall.
‘Let’s roll the dice, one more time, take a chance on love again tonight…‘
Songs do the craziest things to my imagination, but that is probably why I indulge them. I wondered, then, what’d it be like to encounter love again. I don’t believe it will be effortless, but neither do I believe that we need to put up a front for something true and real. On such few occasions do ‘be yourself’ apply so literally; meeting somebody new and being their friend is one of them.
This is how I picture it: we will shed all pretensions of being impressive and having it all together, and just be. We will be strangers and not pretend otherwise. We will ask questions and go through particulars, because how else do you get to know a person? Hopefully, it will feel like the most natural thing in the world. Void of consciousness. Entirely forgetful of the fact that neither of us are doing this for the first time, but that it’s the first time in a long time that introducing ourselves does not feel like a chore.
And we’ll sit there, at first unaware of how easy it feels to be with this person, and then later marvelling over the fact of it all.
With him, I could just be, and likewise him with me.
Then, getting up from my seat, pressing the bell to alight at my stop, an interruption cut the closing chorus of Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock:
“Like the way I enjoy being with you, Johna?”
I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to an Easter Sunday service with this much excitement. April had been a dark month for me, and there was nothing like celebrating Christ’s resurrection to lift me out of my selfish mood swings. (Still a selfish motivation, I realise…)
I was in high spirits that morning, donning a printed black-and-white skirt with my favourite patent kitten heels. ‘Oh, happy day, happy day,’ I hummed to Tim Hughes, ‘You wash my sin away…’
And then, in what I consider to be playful banter with my Father, I thought: “What if I meet him today, Lord!” Plays to be prepared.
The funny thing is, I did.
At worship that morning, they performed a new song to celebrate the occasion. Because we hadn’t heard it before, we couldn’t sing along, but soon it didn’t matter. The words just did their thing and stirred:
Covers it all
My sin and shame
Don’t count anymore
All praise to the One
who has ransomed my soul
In that moment, romanced by my Saviour, I had no doubt about it. My soul was to die for…not out of anything I have done, but because of all that He is.
Crazy, I know. What truth!
The truth that I was, and have always been, already taken.
A good friend of mine, the beautifully talented Kaye Matriano has penned a song whose title inspires that of this post. It’s called ‘Truth Is, You’re Already Taken’ – give it a listen over here. :)