When you are nervous, the sickness of imagined failure or life-dreading fear, can you not walk into a room, enter a space occupied with strangers, and burn nervousness with the love that extends what you have to offer, whatever you are nervous about offering: your love, your song, your seemingly small idea, a poem, a hand extended when you don't know if the recipient will respond or not? What else is there to do but to love recklessly. You've heard that before. I know. So have I, but tonight I feel it like the woman who passed the stranger 100 years ago, the one she never said hello to, the one that needed her shelter, all of them buried now, the shelter impossible to use. Don't wait to love.
Never wait to love.
I want to make it permanent, a way to live: Never wait to love.
Because when you do give it, when you are brave enough to receive it despite all your battle scars, the ones inflicted on you, the ones you have inflicted, you will find yourself in a small, humid room with two other women praying to the Father to lift your voice, and the hands extended make a chain of brave, unbreakable living. Or your mom and stepdad's arms meeting behind you as you sit between them on a bench and know they have loved that kind of shelter around you, the kind I want to be building in the world, too. Or your daughter who gives you every ounce of her innocent trust, and being near this way of living makes you brave, too. I have passed under so many of these safe houses, I do not believe I could begin to remember them, but I know they were put there to guide and protect. Let me be the same shelter for the weary traveler, too.
I want to be pulled further out of myself and into what I was made to be. Isn't that an amazing paradox? Tonight, my heart is thrilled with the freedom of this truth. The love He built my bones and skin and joy with, that is the love that builds the home, the shelter, the arms that hold us more firmly inside our lives, steadied and relieved, without an ounce of ourselves left and completely full and perfect just the way we are--love like you are building a place to dwell forever because, honey, you are. And it is good here.