“Sometimes I feel as though I were born in a circus, come out of my mother’s womb like a man from a cannon, pitched toward the ceiling of the tent, all the doctors and nurses clapping in delight from the grandstands, the band going great guns in trombones and drums. I unfold and find flight hundreds of feet above the center ring, the smell of popcorn in the air, the clowns gather below, amazed at my grace, and all the people chanting my name as my arms come out like wings and I move swan-like toward the apex, where I draw my arms in, collapse my torso to my legs, roll over in perfection, then slowly give in to gravity. My body falls back toward the earth, the ground coming up quick, the center ring growing enormous beneath my falling weight.
And this is precisely when it occurs to me that there is no net. And I wonder, What is the use of a circus? and Why should a man bother to be shot out of a cannon? and Why is the crowd’s applause so fleeting? and…Who is going to rescue me?” -Donald Miller (Searching for God Knows What)
I connect with this and I get chills from reading and re-reading this because Christianity and school and relationships and sports and everything I’ve ever been a part of, can be condensed into the picture Miller creates.
Miller writes about a man performing for an audience, hungry for an applause and drowning once he reaches the end of his act. Finding no refuge in the temporary adrenaline from attention.
I don’t want to live my life in relation to any sort of act or skit or plot to entertain other people in order to feel full or worthy or more complete in any sense. I’ve added the picture above, of Paul and his son Styler, holding hands on the beach because love is the one simple, stable and relentless reminder we have of how powerful the human heart is, and how extraordinary our work here can be when dedicate our lives to loving well.
My heart has been transcended by the patience and time a specific few people have given me. I’ve been introduced and invited into a life of grace and forgiveness and redemption that I cannot explain to you in words. Skyler reaching his hand up and placing it into the palm of his father’s is the best portrait I can show you to depict how content I am in my faith and how open and more able I am to love better because of it. Love is unfathomable in it’s ferocity. It has torn me to pieces, and I’m more and more grateful because of it.
When I pass away, I like to imagine I’m a child once again, and as I walk towards the gates, someone is already up there, waiting for me and recognizing my presence as if they’ve been expecting me. They’re holding out their hand, gesturing me to take it, welcoming me home.
Whatever and wherever your heart finds restoration and peace, keep it there.
Paint a picture with your life. One worth admiring. One worth sharing.