In the Passenger Seat

I watch the condos slip by us, one by one. A Christmas tree glistens through the glass windows, and I have to smile. October 30 – too soon? Never. 

I see the couple in the car that we pass, and I wonder when they fell in love. Was it a whirlwind romance or was it a story built out of a million moments? Another car makes its way by us, and I watch the woman grip the steering wheel and frown. What wearies her heart tonight?

I am used to the driver’s seat. I am used to the feeling of the wheel beneath my hands, my eyes on the road before me. I don’t usually find myself in the passenger seat, watching the world pass me by. I study the streets of this city as we drive over them, watching the lights and thinking of the times I walked their sidewalks. I see the buildings, the windows, the dark sky illuminated by a million city lights.

I miss it all when I hold the steering wheel.

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Do you see what happens when you let go and ride in the passenger seat? I hear His whisper in amidst my thoughts and the heart beneath my shirt that beats wildly.

My eyes are on the story that is passing me by.

I really don’t like letting go.

He answers me back in the images that I see, the billboards and lights and beauty painted across the cityscape. It isn’t really even about the city beside me. But look at what happens when you do. You see this whole world you missed before. You see the Gifts.

Can you count it all as joy?

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He’s been asking me that since yesterday.

Can I let go and count it all joy?

I want to shake my head and tell Him no. I want to tell Him I can’t add it to the list of good things, and count it as joy, and whisper thanks as I offer Him back what’s His. But tears stream down instead.

“Yes,” I say. “Yes. I’ll count it all joy.”