By Holly Pritchett
A movie told me to go outside and, as the verb of the day was learn, I am now outside sitting in the scorekeepers booth overlooking an empty and expectant ball field. The movie was August Rush and the ball field is Whitlock Park and the curious intersection of the two is now the common cadence of my small and extraordinary life.
Alan sends me a verb of the day which is both natural (I was his English teacher) and prophetic (the part of speech that prompts us to glory). I text him one, too; todays was illuminate. This cellular exchange decrees my destiny for the day. That God speaks so should be knowledge embedded in our DNA. That we are deaf should shock and shame us toward a relentless pursuit of His voice.
Lovers love with voice and visual, gesture and touch. So, God sends Alan messages for me, and prompts Amanda to pay for my sixth admission to a movie that will not receive critical accolades, but will receive gratitude from the little girl it bids hold on to hope.
This time I bring my notebook in with me. The theater becomes classroom and the script and cinematography become text. When God says learn, you must be ready to. Ignorance and foolishness require only the slightest preparation and attention. Moments, by definition, are notoriously ephemeral. No tendon or bone, organ or vein within me would select stupidity as a response to the beckoning wisdom of grace.
I am designed to create and subdue; I am marked for transcendence. The path toward heaven is mysterious and bewitching and illuminated a single step at a time. There is summonsthis wayand a pull. Then, mesmerized, the foot crushes on the very dirt from which it was formed. It is in this movement that we maim the enemy who whispers lesser lies of who we are.
Now, I did not learn this from August Rush. It is not fact. It is choreography. Dancing and love-making, running and breathing with the triune God are not formulaic tasks or reciped activity. They are acts of worship discovered in the wide open spaces we refuse to explore.
My God is a ferocious and manipulative lover. He positions me to find the deeper parts of Him, and this calculating and intoxicating pursuit of me hinges on my abandon to the moment.
If I do not follow the signs or stop to seek them, I will miss divinity. Texts and ball fields, movies and traffic lightsthese illuminate the way. When we learn to see them and pause to study them, when we take their hand, we follow the lead of the wind directly to the throne of God.
Dim lighting at the cinema makes deciphering my lessons difficult, but my heart leaps at the promise encoded in the barely legible words. Throughout the movie I have taken notes of the most urgent kind; they are a treasure map to glory though they resemble scribbles and seem silly all separated on the paper.
Six times my notes beckon me outside, so it is lunchtime the day after my late show education and here I am at the park. I am alone, which I am sensing as my lovers plot, and the sweet, simple, sustainable sublimity moves me into an oceanic peace. I am so glad my two hours in stadium seating was rising action and not climax.
Romance translates poorly out of context. My forty minutes on splintered wood at an under-landscaped park seems so lacking on paper. He has led me into explosion before, but His hand at the small of my back led me to a more muted display today.
Sunday proclamations inspire me and my people, but its these sacred declarations
made intimately apart from the Sabbath that make usHe and Ione.
I am going to go stand in the middle of this baseball diamond I now overlook, (My beloved gave me a diamond!) and the crisp January air is going to whip around me and ruin my hair. Lesson one from my movie applied, I get it. He is wind and the enveloping breeze He seeks for me will change the world. My heart cannot bear the compartmentalization that so often castrates this. He orchestrates a wild melody for me today and an affectionate adventure for all brave enough to be no more velveteen.
Cast off the cynicism that questions the validity of the sign and murders the magic. Dont be afraid; love looks silly and bravery is always prerequisite for passion. Take your lunch break, your free Saturday, your vacation time, a year off, and go. Go outside. Learn the way the lover leans in toward us. He is covering your eyes and is poised to lead you by still waters where colors await you that never existed before this day. If you have never felt that close to this ecstasy, somehow you have missed God.
Believe apart from common sense. Hope courageously and He will call. Or Hell text and you will be lead to the next divinely appointed and rapturous rendezvous. Be forewarned, however. Expository comes easier than personal narrative, and that somber fact manifests itself in our appalling lack of love stories.
If you liked this article, check out: Afterthoughts on the Altar
Holly is a servant, seer, and story-teller. A pilgrim at heart, she travels all over, but Newnan, Georgia is her home. An English teacher in public schools for 13 years, her heart leans toward teaching, pointing lives toward a vision of what could be.