We want both.
To blend into the crowd and yet somehow rise above it. To know we belong and yet bubble up distinct.
We walk into a room and scan the corners to see if we’re dressed right, if we look right, if anyone’s noticed. We look for a chair and worry if eyes fall on us. What are they thinking? Is there something on my face? Is this dress unflattering? Where are my people?
We twirl in spinning dresses before our fathers. “Look at me, Papa!” Tell me I’m beautiful.
We reach out for her embrace and worry when her frame stands cold. Did I do something wrong? Maybe I came on too strong.
We shirk the chains and long to break from walls defining us. You don’t know who I am.
We tell our story and wait for a resonant response. I’m so glad you get me.
We devour personality tests that tell us us. We so badly want to make a difference in these toiling, spinning lives. Tell me the “big thing” I’m supposed to do with this one small life.
We worry we’ll be forgotten among the masses. We worry we’ll be rejected.
We want to give, but not to be used up. We want acclaim and anonymity, freedom and hemming in at once.
So when Sarah Bessey prays on a Saturday afternoon before a room filled with hundreds, “May we long for prayer and the Scriptures. May we give and share and make room. May we find You in beautiful obscurity,” your heart says, “Yes. Yes. This is what I want.”
It makes you wonder if this might be how to live at peace in the crowd.
I read these words on my friend Velynn‘s blog this morning, and they helped inform my writing today: “We humans are a hungry lot. We are driven by a craving to know who we are. Yet who we are is embedded in the heart of a holy God. Unless we seek for ourselves in the epicenter of God’s grace, we will be forever condemned to walk the arid edges of self-understanding.” (Calvin Miller, A Hunger for the Holy)
Joining with Lisa-Jo Baker and the Five Minute Friday crowd where we write wild and free and let the words fall where they will. It’s a chorus where each voice matters. Come write with us? Today’s prompt: CROWD.