Yesterday, between my day job at Universitas Majoris and a worship planning meeting at church, I took some time out to prepare for the meeting. I love this part of the job--sitting with my colleagues and peering into the readings, figuring out how to exegete them musically in our particular context. So I try to get my head in the game ahead of time, in order to participate fully in the discussion.
There's a route from the U to church that follows the river, with a parking lot at a particularly lovely spot. I pulled in there to appreciate the view and to do my "pre-game" thinking. It was an absolutely beautiful fall day, with the late-afternoon sun hitting the colorful trees along the riverbank--the perfect setting for thinking about transcendent things. I rolled down my car window and got to work, Bible and hymnal in hand.
After a few minutes, a truck pulled into the spot next to mine. Two high school-age kids got out, sat on the hood and began to talk and laugh as they took in the view of the river. My first response was to be sort of annoyed--it was a big, unoccupied parking lot, and they had to be making noise right next to me? (You can see the "transcendent" thing doing its work, right? Ha ha ha.)
Cranky me. And I was about to get reframed in a BIG way by this "annoyance."
I got back to work, and noticed a few minutes later that they'd moved to the edge of the bluff, about ten yards in front of my car. Further, I noticed that these two kids are in love--nestled together, laughing, occasionally sharing a kiss, gazing into each others' eyes as if they were the only two people in the world...just being totally in the moment on a gorgeous, sunny day.
Now, add in the factors I haven't mentioned yet: this unself-consciously smitten couple was both mixed-race and all-female. And, in that moment, their joy became my joy. They were beautiful.
Love generally is; especially when the sun is allowed to shine on it.
Maybe things are getting better for gay kids. Maybe this next generation will finally get past the racial and sexual barriers that have been so divisive for mine and those that have come before.
Late-breaking news: Fantastic. :-)