(Two posts in a month! We should probably celebrate.)
One night, I manage to slip away from the papers and tests long enough to go with my husband to the track.
Beside me, Big Red begins his intensive workout--sprints, burpees, and other mind-boggling, sweat-inducing moves.
I walk in circles.
Big Red is training for a Spartan race.
And I thought, I am training to hold my breath.
So I pray to exhale.
Around the track, around my head, prayers loop and weave in between my parallel lives of teacher, mother, student, wife.
Lesson plans and supper plans and best-laid plans.
The next morning, I'm in Act 3,
reading about the man at the temple who holds his cup out to Peter and John.
He's asking for silver,
but he gets something far more precious.
He gets a chance to praise Jesus with everything--
body, soul, spirit.
It's a cool testimony, and one with lots of implications, but my eyes go to the line Luke repeats.
"...the Gate called Beautiful."
It sings like a chorus in my head all day: the gate is beautiful.
The place he sat, day after day, year after year-
where he looks at Peter and John,
where he listens to Peter's voice,
where he anticipates just enough for today,
where he seizes Peter's right hand,
where he gets more than he ever thought or imagined.
It was beautiful
because it was the place where he waited with expectancy and where he accepted what was offered.
This place where I am,
the place where I'm waiting with my cup out,
looking, listening, expecting,
that's the place Jesus calls beautiful in me.
What looks like brokenness now will look like beauty later.
I don't know what I'm anticipating,
but I know Jesus well enough to know that it will be more than I bargained for--
and I want to seize it, accept it,
and leap for joy.