Often in my lifetime, I have misunderstood.
Flashback to the mid-90's: Mom gets Mariah Carey's "Hero" on CD for the first time. We are listening to it, and I, as a young thing, am swooning. The song ends, and I say to mom, "I think Chris **** is my hero." (I won't use his name, in the interest of protecting my childhood crush from googling his name and finding my blog... on second thought...) Mom says, "You idiot. The hero is inside YOU. Can you even hear?" Ok so she didn't say that - but she pointed out to me that the hero wasn't some 10 year old boy. Even then, I had missed the point. I saw something great (a Hero) and picked someone who could play that role for me.
Thank you, Mariah.
Last night I did a similar thing, because apparently I haven't grown up much. I was listening to my precious tiny red iPod on shuffle, as per usual, and who came on but none other than Allen Levi [Note to the reader: Allen Levi is an old-man Young Life singer who my mother loves and we shamelessly mock her by singing "sooomeonnne got a letter!" at her... I only like one song of his at all ever and it's this one] singing "Love of a Different Kind." Old-Manness aside, it's a good song.
"There's this beautiful princess, and there's a handsome prince. They look so good together; they make perfect sense. It's a storybook romance, the kind we like to see. This is love - the way we're told it should be.
But what if the prince found a poor ragged girl with a blemished face? Let's say, a girl from a ghetto. Crippled, and frightened, and bitter - from a different race. If he said, "I adore you, won't you please be mine?" We'd say this is love - of a different kind.
Love from a different place and a different time... We'd say this is love from a different heart and a different mind. Beautiful kindness almost seems bizarre. Extravagant blindness seems not to see her scars. He holds up the chalice, she drinks the wine - this is love of a different kind.
She looks in the mirror now, without disgrace. I am that girl, you are the girl with the blemished face. You see, this is love of a different kind."
So I start off in Disneyland, imagining Belle and the Beast... thinking about how someday my prince will come and it will be this beautiful story and blah, blah, blah. Long story short (without gaining you entry into too much of my crazy brain), I spend my time thinking of how in the future all these incredible things will happen, how I will know these great loves. I spend my time worrying about how this love will manifest itself in my immediate life. And just like the other day on the elliptical, my friends, I hear that still, small, voice; chock-full of kindness and patience - "You idiot. I already love you! Can you even hear?" God loves me like this right now. With beautiful kindness and extravagant blindness. I don't know why God's love is so hard for me to get - but it is so much bigger and grander than any prince or parent or friend... and it is often the last love I find myself longing for. There is so much to be thankful for, so much I am blessed by RIGHT NOW... and here I am toying with SOMEDAY. We can look in the mirror now without disgrace. Doesn't say anything about someday. And Allen Levi doesn't lie.
and I have so much to learn.