It caught me by surprise. Riding to la Ceja, my ipod on shuffle and suddenly, as I watched the sun-speckled palm trees and mountain views flow by, I heard a gentle melody from a wooden flute with an amber-feeling harmony intertwined within it. And I remembered.
I remembered a giant bonfire in my grandpa’s yard, wine on my grandma’s table, the feeling of being in my mothers’ arms. Jam sessions, lying in knots on the floor giggling, swimming through parkwoods, the feeling of closed eyes, nothing to do, and the knowledge that people I love are an arms length away.
And there it was— the moments, the feelings, things, people, we live for.
I remembered why I bother trying to organize, advocate, meet, greet, plan, work at anything.
It’s not for love of marching in streets, of writing a particularly compelling line, of screwing over Oppressive Regime X or Snarky Politician Y. It’s not for a sense of purpose, gainful employment, or travel. It’s not even for “Liberation” or “Freedom” as concepts—it’s for this: beauty, joy, love, music, family, friends, warmth.
The truth is that I don’t actually want to organize, advocate, or ever have to know how many displaced people are where, how long what wall is, or what UN resolution says what. I want to listen to music, eat good food, and be with people I love, laughing, dancing, playing. I want the feeling of a wooden flute’s note and the harmony beneath it.
I think everyone wants this. I think the revolutionary part about following Jesus, the new-ness of the Good News, is that we want that but we want it for everyone. And wanting it for everyone implies devoting my life, in many ways, to means rather than ends, to work rather than play and hoping, somehow, that part of redemption is that even means can be made to feel like ends, that work can feel like play. If we’re lucky, sometimes it does. Sometimes organizing a rally can be fun, sometimes talking with a victim of violence is just friendship, but even when it doesn’t, when it isn’t, we’re called to keep going.
But in the bus today, I remembered why. I heard what the world was meant to be, the vision so sweet it keeps us moving. And my soul faints for the day when life can be just melody and harmony.