You’d gone ahead. Lit the lamps. Again. Made yourself at home. And you were waiting.
You were in this place and I didn’t know.
In the second that my car passed the frontage of the property before turning in, I felt it. That frisson of nerves. Because of your proximity.
Not that I even know how to talk about that. I really do need a theology of place under the New Covenant. After the other project, of course. Because my official one is woefully inadequate. Because my heart knows what my mind yet cannot. Because you were in this place and I didn’t know.
Halfway across the garden again. Same as last time. Eighteen months ago when I first visited the summerhouse. The summerhouse which I think to rename the gloryhouse. Because it’s here that I meet you.
And I heard you whisper the words of that song. That you are here, standing in our midst. And as I struggled with the key to the door, it was as if the floodgates in me were released. For the deep in you calls to the deep in me.
From laughter to tears and back again. Over and over this day. If anyone looked on and wondered about the crazy woman stumbling round the garden there, it was perhaps because you were in this place and they didn’t know.
As always, you undid me. Words of love, of your jealousy. Warnings not to share what you have claimed for you alone. And continued healing for those parts which mean that, as yet, I cannot bear the things you have to say to me. The all truth which you have heard from the Father and which is for your friends. The revelation which others have seen that I am to walk in long before I have been able to conceive it, yet which even now would drown me.
I think again of that sunsoaked May afternoon, under the canopy of Papillon, coffee in hand and iPhone in the other. Searching under the bluest of skies for a retreat when my sabbatical began. Finding what felt like something, though not knowing what. Not knowing that you would be in this place and use it to unravel more of your purposes in my life than I could ever have dreamed.
My beloved, my friend. Just how you have been in this place and I have not known it…