This post has two purposes:
i. To make a slightly vulnerable autobiographical confession.
ii. To make more people listen to this song. It may be the best in all history.
Question: How would you feel if your best friend abruptly stopped talking to you? And even when you asked them what was up, they still basically blanked you – acknowledging your existence, but not doing a whole lot more? How would that feel? Maybe you know already; I do.
My life used to be so so different, for one primary reason: God & I were on good terms. I would talk to Him, and He would talk back. I'm not really one for recalling whole conversations, but I distinctly remember being out walking (this was in New Zealand) and God telling me a joke. We both laughed.
And then it stopped. It stopped because He stopped; not just stopped talking, but stopped being – as if He withdrew all the tangibles of our relationship, all the 'presentness'.
It was very much a turning-point chapter in my life anyway. Mid-2006: I had just left NZ, was in America, and Maria & I were in the midst of deciding to relocate our lives to be in the same place together. So to suddenly go through that (and everything that came after) without my friend/guide/confidant was both weird and hard. And that's how it's been ever since.
Point 1: I totally respect God's right to be different to how I want Him to be, and even to change from one 'persona' to another. As I've said before, He's my King, not my butler.
Point 2: It hurts, very very much.
[Have you listened to the song yet? The following will make little sense unless you do …]
Dusty in Memphis is one of those albums I have intentionally waited before buying – other examples are Astral Weeks, Blonde On Blonde, and Dark Side of the Moon. Not sure if other people do this, but I do; it's kind of like leaving some of the best bits of the meal to the end rather than gorging yourself straight away. Anyway, I finally got around to buying it about 6 weeks ago.
I had never heard 'Just One Smile' before, and it instantly stood out for me – a brilliant, brilliant song. And then, about a fortnight ago, I was listening to it again and realised that I was welling up. Why?
I don't ask for much; a look, a smile, a touch…
Just one smile – the pain's forgiven
I had tears in my eyes because these words say what I want to say to God. It's not that I want everything to be exactly as it was (although that'd be nice) but that sometimes, all I long for is a nod or a smile from God to remind me that He still likes me, and that it'll be alright in the end. I could endure virtually anything then.