monologue at 3 a.m.

i have been one acquainted with the night...

name:robin    residence: dayton, ohio, united states
et cetera

Monday, November 29, 2004

late night musings

Whenever I think about this past summer I always think of the weekend the Six Steps team spent at University Baptist Church. It's not really the performances or practices I remember most but that Saturday night we spent in the Stecks' family room. We sat down to do our devotion before going to our respective host homes to get some sleep before the Sunday morning service. Kelly opened in prayer and then read a few verses aloud.

Then she did something unexpected. She asked how we were all doing. But first, she chose to expose the dark corners of her life. She was honest. Painfully so. It was still early in the summer and she could have chosen to give all the good little Christian answers and left her walls intact. But she didn't. She shared what was really going on with her and God and where she was struggling. Slowly and some of us more timid than others, we followed suit.

Each of us chose to be real. We chose to step out from behind facades and quit hiding. Everyone's eyes were brimming with tears as we each in turn shared how unprepared we were, how little time we had given to God going into such a big commitment, and the fears and insecurities that took up the space in our hearts that rightfully belonged to Christ. Many tears were shed and much love was shared. We sat there dismantling the walls that stood between us and gave the others permission to come close.

I was afraid for a while. I was afraid of what they would think. Of what they would say when they knew. But no one said anything. They just cried with me and held me close. And I knew they loved me. In those hours God gave me a glimpse of what He felt for me. He showed me what I know to be the closest thing to unconditional love this side of heaven. I never felt so free to love another person before. There were no games or pretenses. We left them there on that white carpet in little heaps of tissues all around the room. All that was left was six imperfect and worn people. But our raggedness didn't matter.

That night set us up for the rest of the summer. We knew when a teammate was hurting. We stopped and prayed for each other when we knew there was nothing else to be done but hug them tight and cry along with them. We gave each other to God because we learned He is the only one who could hold us together and fill in the cracks. He was the only one strong enough to bear our pain. So we let go of the things that made our shoulders sag under the weight of a heavy heart. God freed each of us from so much.

Even though I don't see them every day anymore I do think of them often. The laughs and tears we shared. And especially the love. The love that banded our little ragtag crew into a community that lived and served to make God smile.


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