Last week I was in the middle of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, standing on a grassy hill with my oldest son Lucas. We were watching a cohort of about fifteen drummers at the foot of the hill pound away on their drums. They were talented, there is no doubt about that. The one lonely saxophone that joined them played drawn-out minor cords that added urgency to the music.
In the middle of the pack of drummers, a young woman danced unrestrained, almost unaware of onlookers, something between a 1960s hippy dance and a Turkish belly dance. You could believe that she was Herodias' daughter herself. Everyone on the hill, all the drummers, too, were mesmerized by the woman. No one could take their eyes off of her.
How did she get there and what is her name?
Counselors know everyone has battle scars. What stories do her scars tell?
What does she want?
The need for love is the great engine that drives the human experience. Humans, all of us, start out wanting nothing more than to be loved. Many of us are hurt along the way and abandon the pursuit of love for a time; we think it protects us from being hurt again. But, love, in one way or another, informs everything we do.
The young woman in Golden Gate Park just wants to be loved, like you, like me.
Test everything. Hold on to the good. – 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Over time I have experimented with a lot of different behaviors to gain love. The only love that has lasted is the love that emanates from the creator of love.
God is love. If it does not look and feel like love, if it does not withstand hardship, if it does not stand the test of time, it is not from God.I will likely never know the dancing woman's name ... but, God's name I know. His name is mercy, and love, and forgiveness, and peace. He has other names I am still learning. Eventually all of His names will be seared onto my heart.
My prayer is that you find love that lasts. And, I pray that the woman dancing in Golden Gate Park finds love that lasts, too. I thank God for you, for her, I thank God for teaching us what love is … in Jesus name I pray.