I believe in fresh water waves crashing into the Grand Haven Pier at Sunset, overlooking Lake Michigan. I believe in the Indian Summer extensions of another afternoon nap on a cloudy day, and the sound of a lawnmower in the distance.
I believe in the smell of a lawn freshly cut, and the feel of soft grass beneath bare feet. I believe in awkward first kisses and the inevitable voltage of love exploding in the veins. I believe in holding hands while roller skating, and building snow forts and snow men and snow angels and hot cocoa to melt away frostbitten fingers.
I believe in town hall meetings, to discuss differences. I believe in the smell of a cigar burning from a mile away, and the old man fishing in the salty sea, and the waves that brought me nearer for another smell of that aroma. I believe in teaching your daughters how to surf. I believe in sunburns and sandcastles and seashells and the sound of crashing surf into a pounding heart beating for one more frozen moment.
I believe in sleeping outside under the stars, and the snuggle of your children on a cold night. I believe in electric blankets on a cozy couch, with Jamie's homemade pizza and our favorite shows. I believe that after all the laughter and heartbreak and the ups and downs and in-betweens, we are going to be just fine.
I believe that she still captivates me, after all these years. With her brown eyes and unpredictable emotions and her luscious lips... she was nineteen years old, when we first met. And she is still the only one who can launch me into a sea of loneliness just by leaving the room! I believe in fighting to learn, and arguing to understand, and never going to be angry. I believe in standing in the doorway to embrace trembling hugs, and uncontrollable tears. I believe in forgiveness and redemption and beginning again, again. I believe in love, love, love held in the grip of grace, grace, grace. I believe in covenants of separation only by death, and even then a reunion in the everlasting.
I believe in outdated choirs singing ancient hymns of an old, rugged cross. I believe in flannel graph stories of runaway sheep, missing coins, and a prodigal son. I believe in miraculous healing from the inside out and the upside, down. I believe in tearing the roof apart to lower your friends to the Great Physician. I believe in sacred songs of Just As I Am Without One Plea and Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing and I believe there is Power, Power, Wonder-Working Power in the Blood!
I believe in betting on the underdog, and that Cinderella was a shepherd boy with a sling shot. I believe that lions can be made submissive and walls can crumble and earthquakes can tear a veil and break open a tomb and roll a stone.
I believe in resurrection hope... the kind of hope that inspires saints to suffer and martyrs to bleed euphoric resistance. I believe a mustard seed can dismantle an empire. I believe the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth. And in His only Son, Jesus who killed death and broke brokenness. I believe He poured out His Spirit to invade and recapitulate the shattered pieces of my heart.