Reflections on Shuffle-Play

Lighthouse by Antje Duvekot

It’s not a song to get your heart pumping. It’s a song for a cool down, or even better, to listen to in the car and daydream as the miles drift by. If you don’t know it, you should. Antje Duvekot has a beautiful voice and is a wonderful song-writer.

The song came on as I was working at my computer today, not running. And even though I was sitting in my office, stewing about schedules and working on a letter to confirmation parents, in a moment, the opening notes of the song transported me to a night over twenty-three years ago in Nigeria. I was sitting on a picnic table under a full moon when the boy I loved quietly, but with every cell in my body, leaned over and kissed me.

I stopped breathing, I think. I had a boyfriend. He had a girlfriend. But we had grown close over the months as we traveled with a small group leading programs at schools and churches. He was irreverent and funny. All the other girls thought he was so good-looking but what drew me into him was how we could sit and talk about music or books or God for hours. Our connection began slowly and built over time. Ultimately, I found myself thinking of him at odd times and so sweetly. I didn’t mean to. It just happened – I slipped and fell into adoration and affection, so deep.

We kissed that night and we kissed another night, and then we went back to the United States and back to our former relationships. Neither lasted very long. After kissing him, I didn’t want to kiss my boyfriend anymore – that was a problem. Then, we were living in the same city and we still hung out as friends, and made out now and then.

He was like air to me for a long time. I was desperate for him like in an 80’s romantic movie or an episode of Guiding Light. I couldn’t imagine my days without him. But he could imagine his without me. Our time together often became an exercise in pain as I would do anything to spend time with him, but that meant listening to stories about the different women he was dating. I hated them all with a smile on my face. I wanted to be able to be his friend – but it was excruciating to be near him and know he just didn’t love me the same way I loved him. He was my world….but I was his friend.

And so, I moved on. I fell truly in love again. He got married. I read at his wedding and danced at the reception. I got married. I have only seen him twice in the last twenty years.

But still, the right notes and lyrics send me directly back to that quiet Nigerian, moonlit night when he kissed me. For that moment, I was cooler than Beyonce, I was the Homecoming Queen, I was the Winner of All the Things. Amazing how young love can do that – make you feel everything. So completely exhilarated, changed.

Looking back, I can see what a crush it was. It had all the markings of infatuation. And while I did love him, we were not in love. Being in love is so different. The former takes your breath away, sure – but the latter goes to the store to get 7-up for you when you have the stomach flu. You can’t build a life on breathlessness, but you can build a beautiful life on being able to depend on another and knowing they depend on you.

What seasons of love have you known in your life? Who was your first love? Your unrequited love? Your love of a lifetime? What did you learn from each of those relationships? Are you glad to be where you are now or do you long for something different or more?

Pray about that. Jesus told us the most important thing is to love one another – and invite God to be part of your love stories – all of them.

Pray for the strength to let go.

Pray for the hope to try again.

Pray for the persistence to love when it is hard.

Pray for a thankful heart for the good memories.

Pray for healing for the hurts.

Pray. Love. Repeat.


Lighthouse lyrics:

You, you’re not the first to ask
And probably not the last
And I don’t expect you to understand

Why I stayed upon this rock
After the birds had gone
And all of the waves turned to sand

I am a lighthouse
In a desert and I stand alone
I dream of an ocean that was here a long time ago
And I remember his cool waters and I still glow

These days the sunlight has bleached my paint
And the moonlight has made it plain
That nobody needs me to call them home

But I swear there was a time when
I would shine for him through the night
And he was the only ocean that I have known

I am a lighthouse
In a desert and I stand alone
I dream of an ocean that was here a long time ago
And I remember his cool waters and I still glow

Now my lantern bears a crack
And I know he will not be back
But I will leave the light on forever

I am a lighthouse
In a desert and I stand alone
I dream of an ocean that was here a long time ago
And I remember his cool waters and I still glow


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