We are sitting in the basement. He is on the red steps, and I sit across from him on the old, unsteady bed. The air is damp, as basements usually are, and we are opening hearts and questions and unknowns. I ask him the hard questions – I am a lover of hard questions – even if, in a way, I fear his answers won’t be what I hope. But it’s his heart, and I love his heart. Even if his answers, his questions, his dreams are different than the ones I hold deep and close to me.
“Ang,” he says to me, a lifetime of stories and heartaches and shared DNA laced in his words, “no matter where we are at in our journey, I will always love you. I want you to know that.”
I’ve been thinking about love lately. Not the romantic kind, but the human kind. And I’m thinking how we live in a world of goodbyes. We live in a world where doors shut and stories end and people walk away.
But we need the kind of love that stays. We need the kind of love that says hello, not goodbye, over and over and over again.
It’s so easy to leave. It’s too easy to say goodbye. When dreams don’t mesh, when we don’t see the same way it’s too easy to start something new.
But I think sometimes it’s better to stay. It’s better to promise a hello, over and over again. It’s what Jesus does: He keeps loving, keeps staying, keeps giving new mercies each morning.
Brand new hellos.
I want to love in hellos. An eternity of them. I want to be the stayer, the greeter, the one that remains. I want to be the one that doesn’t write the ending of chapters lightly; the one that keeps the pen nearby for the next page. I want to be the hoper, the journey-er, the one that promises on red scratchy basement steps, “I promise to be there. I promise to keep loving. I promise that we might not be on the same page, and we might not see eye to eye. We might be heartbroken but we’ll be heartbroken together and we’ll keep loving. We’ll keep staying. We’ll keep saying hello.”
We’ll keep saying hello.