Posted by: Kara Luker | January 10, 2011

Jesus saved a seat for me*

He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love. Song of Solomon 2:4

It is dark and still very early. I slept only a few hours, probably due to the caffeine in my system from yesterday’s very happy, quite wired day. After spending some time thinking, reading, and trying to get back to sleep, I finally decided it might be a nice, undistracted time to write.

There has been a distinct mellowing of the wacky emotions plaguing me at the beginning of last week, provoking all manner of bizarre behaviors and preventing me from being able to focus on work for two consecutive minutes. I sensed great relief in my heart – and that of my boss – as I made the transition to a general sense of wellbeing, optimism, and joy. This, I think, is what they call falling in love.

It is strange but remarkably pleasant to look in my heart and find someone there, almost like opening up my closet to find some beautiful thing I couldn’t have dreamed up or afforded. The natural response is to close and open the door a few times, just to make sure the unexpected gift is still there. Each time I open the door of my heart, my smile gets bigger as I find more of John. How he got in there is beyond me, but I’m so very glad.

A happy place to meet

Another good thing is that my heart is opening back up to the things I feel made for, like being with people and praying for them and loving them in my own way. Yesterday was just that sort of day. It began sweetly with green tea, conversation, and prayer with my mom before dashing off to the Gypsy Den for some coffee and honest conversation with a dear and perfectly eccentric friend, Debbie.

While walking Debbie out to her car, I heard “hey Kari!” in the familiar voices of Autumn and Ashley, two magnificent sisters who light up my world. A desire to get together with them had really hit me the day before, so I was thrilled about the chance meeting. They also recognized Debbie from my sister’s skype baby shower (which I still plan to write about), so it was a happy encounter all around. Autumn told me she had just had a desire to get together with me the day before. Go figure.

A chance meeting

Debbie had to dash, but it turned out that Autumn and Ashley were meeting up with a mutual friend, Karin, who is bigger than life and a sheer delight. I was invited to join them back at the Gypsy Den, where Karin was waiting at a table that just happened to have an extra chair for me. So I ordered up a chai latte, enjoyed the lively conversation on the patio, and laughed as Karin narrated the afternoon through the voice of my blog. (*I am indebted to Karin for the name of this post, although I’m not sure I got it right.)

I got home to find a still-groggy boy who had slept until 2:00. Despite the fact that he hadn’t cleaned his room or done his homework, we took showers and headed off to dinner at the home of my cousin, Janelle, her husband, and their five kids. They have been a surrogate family for me and Cole, and a lush part of our existence. John and his daughter, Madison, were meeting us there… two happy worlds colliding.

Friendship warms the heart

The kids got on well, all playing together as if their ages didn’t span a decade. There was good food, conversation, and laughter. I was flooded for a moment by a wave of contentment at that big table with these people I love and a slew of the greatest kids talking happily. The evening ended with sweet prayer for Janelle’s husband, also named John, who wasn’t feeling well… and so much more. I couldn’t help but feel grateful. This is true life, I thought. And I am living it.

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