I had a flash of a memory today. My sister Kelsey and I are sitting in a Seattle restaurant. I think we order burgers, or at least I do. We’re at Nickerson Street Saloon and it’s sunny outside. We’re looking directly at each other, in matching brown hair and dark brown eyes, leaning back in sturdy wooden chairs. I only remember part of what I say, where I articulate ideas that have been needling my heart and mixing up my insides. “I need God to be Love.”
“What do you mean?” she asks.
“I don’t need God to be sovereign or omniscient or just. What I need is for God to be Love. I need God to be in Love in order to survive.”
Kelsey nods, in the way sisters do, trying to understand while also trying not to judge. It was an honest answer to a question I can’t remember asking.
And as I think about all the anger and the confusion and the “What the fuck, God?!” happening in the world, I’m reminded how badly we still need Love–how badly I still need love–in order to survive. We need God or the universe or whatever it is you call it to be Love–the Great Love. We need the type of Love that says, I weep with you, I feel the pain, I carry the scars, I see the wounds, you are not alone. We need this for ourselves, and we need it for each other.
As I was leaving Nashville yesterday, stopping near the Tennessee boarder to fill up an empty gas tank. My brain reminded me, “We’re missing it–we’re missing Love.”
Later, a friend wrote me, finishing her thoughts with, “Why love has to inflict such scars, I’ll never know.”
And I don’t know either.
So I offered the only thing I could think of…
“Love leaves scars, but also helps with the bandaging,” I wrote back.
Because I think it does. And maybe that’s how we survive. We are Love for each other, pulling from a source greater than ourselves. We remind each other of Love when it goes missing, and we say over and over again: I weep with you, I feel the pain, I carry the scars, I see the wounds, you are not alone. We tenderly hold the bandages in place when they seem to come undone.