basements


People always talk about defining moments.
Phone calls or test results or near misses.
But I seem to have many more defining places.
In the hill country off of FM 1340.
Hospital rooms.
Blue Ford rangers.
And basements.

This weekend I went to a college reunion for a campus ministry that I went to back at Tech. And I was a little apprehensive and nervous because going back always seems a little like moving in the wrong direction.
But sometimes going back pushes you forward.

And I hesitantly walked down the stairs and tried to sort out the newness of the old room.
The same room in which my husband asked me out on our first date.

After about 20 minutes of wandering around seeing people that I forgot that I forgot.
And many more that I fondly remembered.
We all exchanged the usual small talk.
Where we live, what we do, how many kids we have. That pretty much covers it.

But eventually the band began to play.
And we sang a song or two a little stiffly.
And just like the lyrics all came back to me,
Something in my soul started to remember.
That girl a dozen years ago that used to be such a mess….
Sat here in these exact same old metal folding chairs covered in nametags.
And sang. And prayed. And listened. And wrestled (figuratively and literally). And laughed. And danced. And occasionally nursed a hangover or a heartache.
And her heart was shaped more in this room than possibly any other place.
And her heart was beating in my chest.

And she wasn’t all bad.
She was hungry and searching and wanting so desperately to be more like this God that seemed to always show up in the dark basement with stained carpet, watered down KoolAid and day old donuts.

And the music was exactly the same.
And despite the lack of donuts this time around and a room full of people with a lot more extra pounds and gray hairs.
God was still here.
And whispering some of the exact same things He did back then.
And that he wasn’t finished.

And the night lingered on and familiar voices sang and prayed.
And I had to fight tears several times.
But I would have had plenty of company with red puffy faces.
Because apparently a whole lot of hearts were shaped in this room.
And were quickly remembering.
Who they had been.
And who this place had helped them become.

And later the next night in pajamas with a bottle of cheap wine and an expensive wedge of cheese. With wheat thins and Styrofoam cups a few of us talked and ate and drank and remembered.
And the three of us are pretty different.
One has spent most of her time since then doing mission work over seas.
The other has raised her family and invested in inner city community and her neighbors, most of which don’t look so much like her.
And me. A soccer mom with a blog in the suburbs.

But we all struggled with the church as an organization, and poverty, and homelessness, definitive answers and apathy. And we talked books and music and babies and singleness and hope and cheese and justice.
It is was pretty easy to see that despite such very different paths our lives have taken in the last decade or so, that our hearts had been formed in the exact same place.
In a basement on 15th street.

6 comments:

Thais said...

Straight up. Well said, Michelle.

Corinne said...

Sounds like a fantastic chance to remember the good :) sometimes that's so needed.

Katie Delp said...

I'm thankful to have remembered with you this weekend. Thanks for writing.

samskat said...

So when are we going to have a reunion at that place off of FM 1340 outside of Hunt??? Imagine the growth and change since the last time we were all there!!

mommaof3 said...

I'm glad you went. It sounds like you were right where God wanted you to be.

And yes, He isn't finished. Thank goodness!

Pete the Brit said...

Absolutely awesome...great memories. So glad I got to see you this weekend.