Some days, I get home before Kasey and swear I see Dad and Grandpa in the living room. They smell like Budweiser and B.O., and they look at me with such familiarity you’d think I was their buddy from A.A. I’ve barely had beer, but in those moments I feel my mouth salivate for malted barley. What power might relentlessly break me out of the circle made for me?
I took a run a few years ago, and I swore I felt God tell me I’d tell stories that would captivate people. It’s a distant memory, and I hate the word ‘captivate.’ But I feel my feet trapped in a circle, and breaking out of it would feel pretty captivating. Of all stories I tell, I am hopeful my life tells the best story.
I don’t see Jesus' face much, but I glimpse it in the face of my giggilng wife. I feel that community, devouring oversize burritos with best friend Tim. I don’t hear Jesus’ voice much, but I hear its resounding greatness amid clashing thunder. I hear its abiding mystery in the 8 a.m. wind that steals its way inside our bedroom. I hear its complete kindness in the rattling of leaves on city pavement. I don’t know his story all that well, but I know death and resurrection in my tiny plot: I want some things so badly I’d travail through death just to get it, and I think of him.
All of these things poke holes in my self-fashioned circle. In my better moments I see myself as one person in a half-awake world, all of us bruised and belaboring for better stories. In my better moments, these hands want to rip holes in the circles we make for ourselves. In my better moments, I want to tell stories to wake us up to a resurrecting world.