She calls it “reading people”–the ability to sense a person’s emotional state before having a conversation.
I call it a gift from the Spirit.
She wraps her arms around me, and I hug her back tightly, eagerly almost.
“Woah, woah, woah, slow down!” She pulls away.
“What? I’m not doing anything!”
“Your heart is beating too fast. Here, just give me your arm.”
We grasp each other at the bicep, and I try to relax, unsure of my own body rhythms.
“You have a rounded tachycardia.”
“What does that mean?”
“If a normal heartbeat goes, BOOM…BOOM…BOOM, yours goes BOOM boom-boom BOOM boom-boom BOOM. You have extra beats filling in the gaps.”
Are you ready? the Father asks.
Take my hand.
He stretches his hand to me and I cling to it with both of mine, my heartbeat quickening. I’m afraid of where we’re going, but I’m not afraid to go with him.
I see the Spirit charge ahead to prepare the way. He’s dancing, cartwheeling.
Jesus walks on my other side, laughing at the Spirit’s joy. He’s already walked this road.
I remember, two and a half years ago, sitting on the green of a golf course, asking them about my purpose.
To fit my heart uniquely to yours and carry it to the children who have forgotten I am their Father.
When I look over my shoulder, I can see the road we have already traveled, feel the heartbeats we have gathered along the way.
“You’re not really doing anything with it,” she observes. “You have so much love, but not enough strength.”
I close my eyes.
“Sadness. You’re carrying sadness.”
“And it’s not yours.”
“But you don’t want to give it up.”
This time I laugh.
“And there’s no end in sight…that’s why you’re weak.”
Late Saturday afternoon, I got the email from my mom. My brother’s close friend had killed himself.
I only met him once, had a vague picture of him in my mind–jogger pants, pierced ears, ponytail. But the grief was so immediate it was as if I had spent four years living with him.
I wept on the couch, moved to the bed and wept there, wept in the car the next morning.
It was not my sadness–it was the Spirit’s. I was bonded to God in his sorrow, and while I cherished the closeness of feeling his heart, I wished I could have it without the pain.
Yet I wouldn’t give it up until he released me.
“I see color. It’s-it’s like the the yellow side of fuschia.”
“Vibrant, energetic–it’s at odds with the exhaustion of the heartbeat. You are strong to carry both.”
Are you ready?
Take my hand. We’re going after their hearts.
Jesus, walking next to me, grinning.
The Spirit, dancing around me, in me, ahead of me.
This time I see he is charged with color, the yellow side of fuschia.