She is drop-dead gorgeous with long and curly black hair, gentle yet firm features, and penetrating while comely coal-fired eyes - a stunning beauty who stood two feet in front of me and said without shame or hesitancy and no inclination to conceal fresh affections, "I could love you!"
I met her on Monday at the regional qualifying tournament for the Special Olympics State of Illinois Golf Championship on 9/13-14.
She was a competitor who didn't seem to care as much about winning as loving.
I went to caddie for my favorite Special Olympian.
Play was cancelled because of rain.
But before the lottery to determine who would advance, I learned more about love in those seven hours than I'd ever seen at any college, seminary, church, or clergy pow-wow.
The smiles and laughter and hugs were intoxicating.
I don't think I've ever spent seven hours in one room for anything and been so lost in wonder, love, and praise.
I bathed in unrestrained joy; and for the first time in a long time, I felt clean.
Why don't I feel that way when I'm with people who aren't so challenged?
Maybe that army guy in King of Hearts was right.
Maybe those who have been designated as challenged are really exceptional and don't fit in with the unchallenged who are so selfish in their love and retarded in their joy.
Maybe I was in heaven for seven hours on Monday; knowing I've often felt like I've been in hell with...
I can't figure it out; but part of the answer comes from the desert: "If we become blind, there is no reason to be upset. We have lost one route to distinction, but now we can contemplate God's glory with the interior eyes of the soul. If we become deaf, then be grateful that small talk will no longer be a distraction. If you have lost the strength of your hands, you will still have the inner strength to resist your enemy's assaults. If disease affects your entire body, you have an opportunity to increase your spiritual health."
I never understood by seeing that until Monday.
I had been blinded by normal behaviors.
Today, in prayer, it hit me.
Our normal behaviors are abnormal to Christianity.
"Their" abnormal behaviors are normal to Christianity.
It may sound crude, but I must now ask, "Who is retarded?"
I thought of the Philippian jailer who asked how he could be saved.
The apostles said, "Believe in Jesus and you will be saved."
They didn't talk about the merits of Calvinism over Arminianism and vice versa.
I've read Arminius and Calvin.
They're not as Arminian and Calvinistic as their cults.
They come off as more, uh, Biblically Christian than, uh, Arminians and Calvinists.
Isn't it supposed to be all about Jesus?
Not Arminius or Calvin or Catholics or Protestants or...
Isn't Jesus enough to be, uh, saved?
Or do we have to be some kind of normal, uh, whatever...?
Is it normal to add more prerequisites to salvific admissions?
Is it abnormal to reduce it all down to loving Jesus by loving like Jesus (agape)?
Why did I feel closer to Jesus on Monday than...?
I did not see contentions, disputes, debates, overtures, polity, property clauses, smirks, disdains, narcissism, conceit, angst, pathos, and...
I saw love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness/humility, and self-control.
I felt and experienced and bathed in...Jesus.
It hit me again on Monday.
You can be right about everything but wrong about Jesus and you're in heaps of trouble.
You can be wrong about everything but right about Jesus and you're, uh, saved from heaps of trouble.
Yes, I learned something about that in college, seminary, church, and clergy pow-wows.
I saw it and gloried in it on Monday.
I think we need more Special Olympians in college, seminary, church, and clergy pow-wows; because they've obviously got lots more of Jesus in them than...
I saw my black-haired beauty in front of a woman, then another man, then another woman, and on and on; and she kept repeating, "I could love you!"
Jesus, thank You for an experience of Church on earth as it is in heaven.
Blessings and Love!