She was looking right at me as we ran.
Her body flashed between the pine trees, brown against the green, her eyes black dots against the white stripe of her face.
I matched her stride, propelled by the longing in my stomach.
Rounding the curve in the gravel road, I stopped, and so did she, at the edge of the trees. She looked back at me, tail quivering en pointe, like a ballerina about to leap.
And I knew she was his Spirit.
What things do you have for our story? I ask him.
My stomach tightens, as if my heart strings are being drawn and quartered by my intestinal cords.
I don’t want that. I’m happy just being with you.
Don’t be afraid.
My heart pin-balled in my chest, insistent to join her, but if I moved, so would she.
Don’t leave me.
Her tail leaped, and she followed over the foliage. I charged after her, my sandals slipping on pine needles, to the far end of the woods where she bounded through the ditch and over the highway.
My legs gave out and I cradled my head on the ground’s prickly bed as my sobs filled the forest with a desperate lullaby: Please don’t leave me.
I’m not only afraid. I’m also a liar.
I do want great things.
I want to write great things and live great things, love greatly and be recognized.
More than that, I want to live with him as my greatest contentment.
He wants to become great in me, which means I will become great, too. He says, To be one with him, I must receive the glory of Jesus, just as he glorified his son and is one with him.
Oh, my heart!
I long to be one with him, but I am afraid of what glory will do to me. It could water and sun the weeds of self-righteousness and false-modesty still rooted in my soil.
I was content to not be great.
Can I lose my contentment in his heart?
My tears brought me around to the dandelion field and the conclusion that if he left me, I would die.
I stood among the yellow flowers as they faded with the sun, and that’s when I saw them: Father and Son, with Spirit, watching me from the other side of the field.
The lunging of my heart made me sure I was a deer, about to bound away with them. But if I moved…
Please, I silently pleaded. Come closer. Come up to me? I want to touch you.
Father looked at Son–back at me. They frisked their tails and jumped after Spirit into the brush, melding into the camouflage of the trees, taking my heart with them.
What was that? I ask him. With the deer, and everything.
I wanted to see if you would follow me.
But you already knew I would follow you, even before I–
Don’t you see? Following me has become your first instinct.
Following him has become my first instinct!
His heart has become my deepest contentment!
Do you have any idea what it feels like to discover that is the state of your heart…
Yes, I am wary of the weeds in my soil. Yes, I’m aware it will be really painful to have them ripped up. But I was yanked of my tree roots and transplanted by the Gardener, so I don’t have to be afraid that he won’t pull the little weeds that spring up.
I chased him into the thicket last winter, so I don’t have to be afraid of chasing him into great things.
He knows I will follow him.
And I know he will never leave me.