Oh my goodness, do I have a story for you!!
Living in New York City, I’m telling you what, there is NEVER a dull moment. Ever.
So last night, my special gentleman and I were having our standing, weekly date night. We had dinner — fajitas, which I blogged about yesterday …
— and then we proceeded to take a sunset walk.
After taking in the gorgeous views, we ended up at Hudson Yards, which is this exquisite luxury shopping mall, where we like to walk around and go window shopping. It’s home to the Vessel “AKA: beehive” art installation (as you can see behind us in the photo above), beautiful restaurants, and The Edge — the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere — with a glass deck protruding 100 stories over New York City.
I’ve been up there once, before Covid, during its soft opening, and wow – what a view!
Anywho – Steven and I get to Hudson Yards, and we were immediately herded to a single lane, dedicated by metal barricades. There were all these cops and traffic directors. The entire Hudson Yards – the mall, the shops, the restaurants – were all shut down. And there were really fashionable women and men in expensive suits — important and official looking “Hollywood-type” people — all waiting by the entrance to The Edge. There were a couple paparazzi, a gaggle of giddy teenage girls…
Something big was definitely happening.
There was a small crowd – about 20 or so – of people gathered on the other side of the barricade.
“Do you know what’s going on?” “Maybe something for Fashion Week?” “The MET Gala was yesterday, perhaps an event for that?”
Questions were buzzing around.
Steven and I decided to stick around for a few minutes to see what’s up.
Then, the Escalades started arriving.
Black’d out Caddies started pulling up, one after another, dropping off women in sky-high heels and men in fashion-pushing attire.
That’s when I spotted none other than Justin Bieber’s right hand man, Kenny H.
There is something you may not know about me, but I was a huge Bieber fan back in the day. We’re talking…I had a dedicated Twitter fan-account. And so, naturally, I knew — by name and face — every single one of Biebs’ entourage that travels everywhere with him.
So of course, when I saw Kenny get out of the Escalade, I knew that the celeb we were waiting for was none other than Mr. Bieber, himself.
And it turns out that Bieber did perform an intimate, private concert on The Edge last night, after premiering his upcoming documentary, Our World.
And, though – anticlimactically – Bieber and his wife, Hailey ended up entering through a side door, and we did not get to actually lay eyes on the pop royalty, it was certainly exciting. And God bless Steven for having the patience to put up with my antics.
But all day today, I couldn’t help but think about that scene from last night. There was a palpable anticipation in the air. People were excited, curious and determined to “get a glimpse” of this coming icon.
And thinking about it, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What if I waited for Jesus with the same gusto as I waited for the Biebs?”
Here there were, all these people staked out, at the ready, camera in hand – chomping at the bit – just to briefly see Justin.
And I’m going to be honest, that thought really convicted me. Because the truth is, no. I sadly am not. I’m not on the edge of my seat, waiting to greet Christ. We’re told to be “at the ready and with lamps lit” for Jesus. (Luke 12:35). In my heart, I tell myself that I am, but the sad truth, is that I’m feeling rather spiritually dry lately.
This pandemic was hard on everyone — particularly spiritually. The virus, the social climate in this nation, the fierce division between neighbors, and then not being able to physically attend church and be around fellow Christians or family — sometimes it feels like there’s no more oil left to burn in my lamp.
Sunday comes and Sunday goes. And suddenly you blink and it’s Sunday again. And it’s like, the only time I gave to Christ that week was that brief hour at church, only to jump headfirst back into the rat race of work and bills and stress and life. And that’s a really terrible thing to admit.
I was thinking this week, as I was falling asleep, how there’s a part of me that misses that uniquely precious season my life during the very first few days of my recovery from anorexia when I was just clinging by my fingernails to Christ. I have never felt closer to God in my life — He was literally sustaining me. And to be honest, I miss that. I miss that closeness, I miss that dependence, that overwhelming, all-consuming need for Christ.
I don’t miss my eating disorder, or the destruction it brought. But I miss how connected I was with Jesus during that time.
And reflecting on it, I think to myself, “Well, yeah Caralyn. He was the center of your world during that time. You were reading the Bible through the entire day. You were praying morning, noon, night. You went to daily Chapel service. You were journaling prayers to Him multiple times a day. You were actively and purposefully surrendering your mind and heart to Him to heal.”
Leave it to my inner monologue to really slap me upside the head with a truth bomb.
I need to get back to that place of desire for Christ. I need to start actively pursuing Him. Because as with all relationships, we get out what we put in.
And as for Bieber? I got a glimpse yesterday of what it felt like to have that anticipatory chase for something again. Granted, it was directed in the wrong place, but I am grateful that God gave me an opportunity to recognize that that was missing in my life in regards to Him.
It was a gentle correction, offered through a delightful experience.
Once again, proving that the Father is always pursuing us, always calling us back to Him. It is up to us to respond and pursue Him in return.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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