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The people droned

February 24, 2009

I rode shotgun down I-90 after dark, watched the world disappear behind me out of the side window, and wondered at the clarity that 70 miles-per-hour can afford.

No one spoke, because you can only be in a car with the same people for so long before the conversation lulls and everyone gets lost in their own quiet thoughts. And because Ben was dead in the back seat from a food overdose. The old Volkswagen engine whined about going so fast for so long, and Audra Lynn‘s gentle piano melody mumbled beneath it.

We drove past a cluster of town homes, lights on in half of the rooms as people busied themselves, numbed themselves, bored themselves. The piano and the engine fought for our attention.

We drove past an upper-middle class neighborhood, each house strikingly similar to those next to it, and lights on in half of the rooms as people busied themselves, numbed themselves, bored themselves. The windows in those houses are huge and I wondered if it was so the people inside could take in the stunning scenes of traffic outside, or so those of us outside could covet our neighbors inside.

We drove past children doing homework, mothers cleaning up dinner, families watching teevee, friends talking in bedrooms, students on computers. From I-90 the houses, the windows, the people look the same. The engine droned. The people droned, and then the piano broke through and she sang,

“So whatever the cost … surely I will pay it … whatever the price … surely I will pay it … and I will gladly give up My life … gladly come … and I will become like one of you … and I will go through the struggle like one of you … I will show you My love by suffering … I will show you My love, oh the deep part of Me … I will show you My love by suffering as one of you.

“And then surely you will know My heart … oh and surely you will know the depth of Me … oh and surely you will know eternity in Me … so I will go, I will go, and I will buy you back …”

I watched as the little people in the big houses sped away into the darkness while Audra sang – plead – “See how the King desires you,” and for the briefest moment I felt God’s heart breaking for every one of them.

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