I have an amazing small group. I wish you could be there. I’d say there are moments that are magic, but magic is the wrong word. We meet at Panera Bread, and it gets noisy in there. There’s lots of distractions. Some weeks there’s hardly any customers there, other weeks there’s so much going on around us, we all have to lean in to listen and we have to repeat ourselves. You can’t control it. You can’t plan for it. I wish it wasn’t like that, but honestly that’s the way life is with God too. Sometimes God’s sitting at a table by the window in our hearts with us, and so many things are going in and out, there’s a vacuum, a softball team, a beeping oven, a blender, a rattling bread cart across the tile floor in the kitchen. It’s just easy to get distracted an miss important stuff. So maybe this is just practice for that.
Here’s why it’s like something like magic. There are moments when the conversation turns with a single comment, one honest reaction, and all those distractions dissolve around us. We see something anew, feel something like love for something like good. Remember when you were a kid at the pool? It was noisy and sunny and hot, full of laughter and splashing and sparkling light. Then you dove in the deep end, and everything was muted, cool, darker, and you were all alone. You had a moment to think clearly or come back to yourself or relax. That’s what it’s like in those moments that are like magic.
It’s like that, except I don’t experience it alone. I experience it with others. We share the experience together. When we’re underwater, I always want to capture it and write it down and tell you about it, but I know I can’t. I can’t make you feel the muted coolness. I couldn’t do justice to it. I wouldn’t be able to make you understand. Partly because it’s not just about understanding it. What’s there to understand about being underwater? No, it’s what you experience that changes you. Or, well, it changes me at least.
Of course, I can’t hold my breath forever. I have to come up for air. I come up dripping wet.