Awake: A love story
I look in the mirror and study what I see. It is in my eyes. The window to my soul, where if you look closely, you see little flashes of hope and a shiny bit of strength, topped with both love and laughter. Those are the eyes of the awake.
She laid her hands over mine, and without knowing my story she spoke words into my heart. “You have a tremendous ability to love, you will love those who others see as hopeless, and that love will literally bring people back from the edge of death.”
Love. It broke me and in that broken moment it awoke in me something that had been lying dormant, awaiting affirmation, awaiting the words spoken that day.
That something said, yes, I was created to love. I was created to love wildly those that appear unlovable. Created to love them all the way back to life.
I just needed another woman to take my hands, assure me that love was a noble cause, and awake in me the confidence that this calling to love was my calling. And if that was everything I ever do, it was going to be enough. It has to be enough.
This is calling to love is peaceful in the quiet of my bedroom. It looks pretty on a Sunday morning among my people. It feels cosy and warm and fuzzy in the safety of those I want to love. But unleash it into the broken places, and it wages war on behalf of the innocent, the exploited, and the oppressed.
Not meant to be hidden, not imparted to be kept within, not designed to remain sleeping. A fierce love has been awaked and released.
It shines brightest in the dark places. It can heal even the most difficult cases. It draws out poison and realigns destiny. It cries freedom.
There is no telling what it can do, where it can go, who it will touch.
I am awake to this love as it drove me out of bed in the middle of the night to answer the call of a broken girl needing to clothed and sheltered. Love that kept me fighting on behalf of a teenager whose words had been silenced by violence, but whose blood stained jeans told a story I will never forget.
Love that keeps me moving from brothel to brothel on a cold evening, in order to lay my hands on girls who are not so different from me, to catch their eyes and share a smile. Making sure that they know that they are seen. That they are not forgotten. That they are loved tremendously.
It is those moments when the love is fully alive and fully awake. Spilling over and filling up all the dark corners, giving cover, giving decency, giving dignity in a place so indecent it should offend all my senses. Instead, love gives me the protection to laugh, and dance, and not turn away.
To look in their eyes and say, I stand here because you are loved.
Hoping that in that look, in that smile, through that love, they too will become awake.
And maybe one day they will start to awaken others.