Oh, Texas, you sly devil you.
I fell back in love with you this week.
The reasons are varied and probably too subtle to delineate clearly, but they had to do with the incredible experience of worship I had in one of your churches, an important and meaningful reconnection with two incredible people from my past, the opportunity to doodle on huge pieces of butcher paper while gazing at the Dallas skyline from nine floors up, and the real food.
Blue Mesa, Buzzbrews, Uncle Julios and The Porch. Real tortillas.
I felt it this afternoon, cruising in my little rental over the (new to me) President George Bush Turnpike (clever, I thought - which Bush? H.W or W? Does it matter? Kill two birds with one stone and honor 'em both with one highway!) I whipped around the tall, curvaceous bend of the interchange and felt the familiar pull of the big sky, the flat line of sight and a whole lot of nothing in between me and the horizon. I remember driving the high overpasses of Interstate 20 and feeling the same open place in my gut.
I've run away from it for almost 15 years now, but it's time to admit that this is, in a very primal way, home. A large chunk of my most formative years were spent in this state - from age 13 to 22, and then back and forth for a few years while on my Dominican adventure. Returning in 1997, I met and married the father of my kids and settled down for a decade.
There is pain here, mostly centered south of Fort Worth in the little places we wandered as a new young family. Brokenness unacknowledged; the pain of deceit and deception and the sturdy pillars of determination that what we claim to be is always what we are, in the name of Jesus, amen.
We are not always what we seem, and therein lies the part of my past as yet unreconciled.
But this week, Texas, you wormed your way back into my heart and soul and found a foothold. I believe there is healing ahead, and that you are holding your arms open wide to welcome me back and nudge me towards some vital reconciliation.
As long as I can have some more tortillas.