Are you watching closely?

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This last year has been accented by a state of uneasiness. There’s a couple events that might have been punctuation marks within it all, but the steadiness of this awkward gap in my soul is what’s been getting to me. It’s as if I fell off the cliff of blissful childhood and now I’m stuck in free fall — my stomach lurching up into my throat — for the rest of my life. And there doesn’t seem to be much I can do about it.

But as I stood in this little, warm music cafe — rain tumbling down the windows, my dear friend humbly walking on stage to close the evening — the uneasiness tapered off. Brett always has this authenticity when he preforms, and when authenticity and music meet it does powerful things. So as he played his last song, in that thoughtful and rich way he always does, my uneasiness dissipated completely. And for a couple moments all was well. It was as if I stepped into another, simpler world.

And it wasn’t all well because I found the answers to my problems. It wasn’t all well because I finally gained control of my life. It wasn’t all well because I felt a satisfaction to my greatest desire. To be honest, I don’t know exactly why all was well. But I do know that whatever it was, it was small and it was a gift. It was the littlest nuance in a violent stream of time, but it moved me. It calmed me down, set my feet on something solid, and told me to be awake for moments like these. Because it’s these moments — moments of inexplicable peace, seconds of mysterious bliss — that slow time just enough for us to actually enjoy this life given us. It’s the sun peaking through turning leaves, finding your crazy friends’ smile across the room, a fit of wild and unashamed laughter, the quiet tumbling of rain — it’s these small gifts that prod our heart and quietly ask Are you watching closely?

And I think that’s how we make it through this crazy life, we watch closely. We tune in to the authenticity of our friends. We listen to the rustling leaves. We smile at those we love. These very ordinary, subtle parts of life are the framework of grace. They are the portals to an ancient world — a very real world, the most real world really. A world where careers and emails and tests are an afterthought. A universe of simplicity, when every time we turn, we see the true goodness of a thing — we see women as lovely and life as precious and conversation as good all because He said it was so.

And then the uneasiness starts to make a little more sense. This isn’t what it’s supposed to be like. We weren’t made to compare ourselves to others or turn woman into sex objects or devote our lives to a pay check. We’re not here to work our way to heavenly bliss. We weren’t given a voice to assault another human being.

We were made to stand in that little music cafe — with the rain tumbling and my dear friend humbly telling his story — and see and love and rest in the very face of God.

Are you watching closely?

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