I loved being in Waco. I wish there was a way I could describe for you the way my chest felt when I saw Pat Neff and exited on Uparks. I wish I could tell you how it felt to be in the parking lot of the Villiages again (even though it was nighttime and I just watched creepily from a distance). I wish I could tell you about the way the energy welled up inside me to have friends all around me, how I just wanted to throw my arms open and embrace the world. It felt like I could suddenly breathe deeply for the first time in months. I was giddy.
It’s not that Waco is perfect. There were things that were annoying and whatnot. But it just felt like home. I love every crack in the sidewalk and every face in the crowd. I cannot contain the way I feel about Waco. When I climbed to the top of the suspension bridge on Friday night, I saw all that so clearly. I could swear I heard God speak quietly into my heart “you’re not done here. I will bring you back here.” but that might have been wishful thinking.
And then, on Sunday, the bottom fell out. Sundays seem to be about that lately. I won’t get into details, but it’s enough to say that any point of light i might have been holding onto looked a little shaky. And suddenly I was dependent, utterly dependent, on my Waco family. One more time, and more than I ever have been. They were there, and they reminded me of all the reasons that I’m supposed to be here right now. See, I get it but I don’t get it.
The album “She Must and Shall Go Free” by Derek Webb. 2 Corinthians 3 and 4. Outwardly we are wasting away but (and it’s beautiful) we are being made new. And the new comes out of the destruction of the old. And it’s beautiful. I tried to tell that to Jennifer on the bridge on Friday. On Sunday the words echoed around my heart and asked me to believe them. Asked me to give them flesh and a heartbeat.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. for this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal”
The joy of Waco. I love it. I desire so much to stay in that moment. But I have to grow. I have to change. I have to confront the fact that I need to be actually loving my enemies and actually trusting God to take care of me and actually taking thoughts captive to Christ. Growing hurts. It stretches me out and tears things and breaks things and leaves things raw. But I have to grow. I have to tear the muscles so they can get stronger.
Right now I have to listen to some more Derek Webb. I have to pray. And in the silences between the words I have to let the liturgy and the words of people wiser than me speak for me. I have to let the Holy Spirit speak. And then I have to sleep.