He sings love! In the air, over the world, I can see the song, the ardency of the notes pulsing in colors. The curve of the world burns ruby, a jewel prying open the day. And I can see in: Love is the face at the center of our universe. A sacred Smile; Holiness ready to die for intimacy. Light and waves and land and sky crescendo in passion and He serenades, "How do I love thee?" (p. 203)
I realize how silly it sounds when I say that I cried because the book ended. But it won't be the first time I've been called silly, so I'm good with it.
I've been so overwhelmed with the density of all this, the heaviness of this treasure of One Thousand Gifts, too heavy to hold alone and grateful I don't have to bear it up by myself. I am glad for the company of thousands of beautiful people all over the world along this journey that doesn't end.
It was a simple "I love you, Ann" that I posted to her Facebook wall, and when she immediately responded with a message of love and friendship I wept, sitting here alone in my pink sundress on this sunny Florida March afternoon. It was as though God said, "She hears your heart, so can you imagine how much I hear it?" They are good tears.
My biggest challenge in responding to the chapters of this book has centered around knowing where to start, what to mention, what to highlight. I've said it repeatedly: there is just so much! There is just so much.
And so I push past the overwhelm once more for one last chapter, sad for the ending but with immense joy for the new beginning this discovery has brought.
I caught myself occasionally shy and almost a little bit embarrassed during this chapter, so I can only imagine what a dichotomy Ann must have felt not just writing it but living it, experiencing it, during her stay in Paris. Feeling like I've gotten to know her a bit through this, I felt her blushing a few times, smiled gently at her pale complexion deepening to pink and smiling at her Beloved as He wooed her. Perhaps something within me wondered, "Is it all right to be so open about love?" And I wonder that I wonder.
Seed: I came face to face with a striking truth last night, even before I read the last of the book. Ann's love for the Word soaks through her life in ways that can't help but bloom through in her writing. Her depth owes to the fact that she is completely drawn to, in love with, the Word God and all the love He poured into the Word we hold in our hands, so easily accessed for most of us, and prized not nearly enough.
Water: I have always loved the Word, but when in my life have I been the most drawn to it in ways that showed? I know it, without even thinking; it was when I was at my threshold of pain, watching my baby and then my mother breathe their last. If pain can catapult a soul into intimacy with His Word, how much more so should joy?
Bloom: More of a hunger, a longing that can be filled only by time spent with Him in the Word, intimacy with Him that doesn't stop and start but only flows.