Moments – Part II

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.28.44 AMI discreetly studied Michael over the top of my cards as our Apples to Apples game progressed. I know that he is a man of integrity, but – as our friendship deepens – I have been trying to keep my heart in check until I am able to determine how important his faith is to him.

Our a cappella group has held rehearsals at Michael’s apartment several times, and his walls are decorated with various crosses and bible passages, but in contemporary American culture, that doesn’t necessarily mean much in the way of authentic faith. I know Michael attends church services whenever he has a free Sunday amid rotations, and I heard that it didn’t work out with the last girl he dated because he discovered a few dates in that she wasn’t a Christian, and a shared faith is important to Michael.

Probably most encouraging is the fact that, in the course of conversation with the group, Michael occasionally mentions in passing the goodness of God or the sovereignty of God’s plans. The way Michael speaks indicates that he has a deep-seated respect for God and a faith in God’s goodness that underpins everything he does. “You will know a tree by its fruit“, and Michael exhibits patience and lovingkindness that I believe evidence his faith. I continue to look for confirmation as I rest in this season of waiting.

ca6b3b69156f218137d57205a525a4f7With just a few rounds left in our Disney Apples to Apples game, one of our altos drew the adjective “Ancient”. I chuckled to myself, thinking that the Yzma card would be the perfect one to play, but sadly, it had already been used. So I played “Beaches” instead, tailoring my choice to the alto’s very literal, cut-and-dry personality.

Sure enough, when she flipped over my card, she exclaimed with a grin, “Beaches! Those are older than Jesus!

She had only meant the Jesus reference as an “omg”-like outburst, but one of our equally literal basses paused the game to ask, “Wait. Are beaches older than Jesus? He showed up around 2 BC, right?”

To my surprise, Michael spoke up, quoting John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

“Oh, yeah.” One of our sopranos with a Catholic background nodded, confirming for the group that Jesus is in fact more ancient than beaches, and everyone moved on with the game.

Except me. I kept glancing at Michael in wonder, that he would not only know that verse but also understand its significance – that Jesus is the Word, and He was with the Father at the beginning of time; that all things were created through Him.

I am encouraged. I am hopeful. But I am also waiting on the timing and the plans of the One who Michael and I both believe is good, sovereign, and loves us more than we can understand.

Authentically Aurora

Moments – Part I

What do you believe about coincidences? Are they truly spontaneous ironies of chance, or are they farther reaching, pre-ordained orchestrations meant to rekindle our childlike sense of awe? Can we cluster all coincidences into one category, or are some the former and some the latter? Still further, does what one believes about coincidences alter their weight or significance? 

After our high energy, laughter-filled concert last weekend, my Pentatonix-like a cappella group took a break from rehearsal this week for some well-earned time to relax and enjoy one another. I hosted dinner at my place, and after everyone’s stomachs were full of homemade beef stroganoff, we broke out Disney’s version of Apples to Apples.

It was fun getting to know everyone’s personalities that evening. We typically spend a few hours a week singing together, but – as much as I enjoy this group – most of the members remain more acquaintances than friends, simply by nature of the fact that most of the times our mouths are open, it is in song rather than in conversation.

We had a large enough group playing Apples to Apples that, before long, we ran out of cards. Everyone was able to draw a new red apple card except for Michael and me. Michael is our group’s director, arranger, encourager and unofficial president, though he is younger (four years my junior). He is studying to become a pediatrician and, over recent weeks, has become a dear friend.

When Michael and I realized there was only one card left to draw between the two of us, I joked that we could share it. One of our altos was already the clear winner of the game, and Michael and I were seated next to each other. When I flipped over the card we were going to share, I was astonished to see this:

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With 270 red apple cards, there was a 0.4% chance the card Michael and I would share would be Lady and the Tramp sharing a spaghetti noodle (leading to an unexpected kiss)! I looked over at Michael with raised eyebrows. “Well that’s ironic,” I said with a smile tugging at the corners of my mouth. “Yes, because they are sharing spaghetti,” he replied casually with a slight smile of his own before returning to the game.

I struggle to get a read on him. I know Michael is perceptive enough not to have missed the gradually growing chemistry between us, so I was unsure if his lackluster response was due to a decided indifference to me or – more likely – due to our audience.

Michael is a gentleman with quiet confidence. He leads our group not with a loud voice or big personality, but with an authority afforded him by the unreserved respect everyone has for him. Michael is thoughtful, sweet and, if my guess is right, painfully shy when it comes to romance. So I’ll just keep waiting in this season of singleness, enjoying the friendship of a man I have come to respect, not only for his musical giftings and intellect, but – more significantly – for his character.

Authentically Aurora