Wink Wink

by MitchellRichards

When I was in second grade, or what Trinidadians would call standard one, I sat by a girl named Daneeka. I am sure that I am spelling it wrong, it is probably Danika, but not pronounced like Danika Patrick, so I am going to stick to Daneeka. Anyways, we sat next to each other in class. I was one of two white boys; everyone else, including Daneeka was either black or Indian.

Sometimes Daneeka and I would share lunches or trade Tunnocks bars or some other sweets. One day, she fell during recess, scratching and bruising her thigh. Once we got back to class I asked her if she was okay and she lifted her uniform skirt to show me the damage to her thigh. I’ll just say that I never wanted to trade seats with anyone again.

It was in this classroom in Trinidad, that I developed my first crush on a girl. It was here in this classroom at Waterman’s Preparatory School, that I received my first swat on the hand for talking to Daneeka too much. It was there in that classroom, where one day Daneeka looked at me from across the room and winked at me.

I must confess that I had no idea what it meant when a girl winked at you. I do remember feeling a strange fuzzy sensation in my chest, but I really didn’t know what it meant. I also have to confess that I had to ask someone what it meant when pretty girls wink at you.

I’ve said before that I believe that God loves the 8-gazillion people in the world individually in 8-gazillion different ways, and so I believe God loves me differently than He may love you. As I talk about a lot in my book, I think that God connects with me in a romantic way. I’m kind of a girl when it comes to romance stuff, I want to be swept away sometimes and I want romantic things to happen to me just as much as I want to do romantic things for girls. I find God’s winks all throughout my life, yet I still feel like that little second grader who has no idea why the prettiest girl winks at him, much less the Creator of the world.

There is this beautiful scene in Baz Luhrmann’s version of Romeo and Juliet, where Romeo and Juliet see each other for the very first time:

I love the fact that there are no words in this scene. There is no late night talk defining what just happened, no conversations on mapping out where all of that was about to go. They just simply were captured by one another. Sometimes in life, we try to explain away these moments that we have with God, these little winks along the way. Sure, it is nice to know where your relationship with God is going sometimes, but if Romeo and Juliet would have known where they were headed they may have just gone back to whatever half-loves they had already known. (Spoiler alert: they all die in the end)

But it is here, in the most random of places, in the house of the enemy, that a spark is ignited and the beginning of a beautiful love takes shape. If Romeo and Juliet had stayed up all night trying to define their relationship they story wouldn’t be as breathtaking, would it?

I have no idea how God and I have ended up where we are together, and definitely no clue where we will even be a year from now. But what I do know is that is started with a moment like this, a moment where everything else in the world slowed down and I saw the character and beauty of God revealed. It was with a wink and a locking gaze from the other side of the Aquarium that I matched eyes with my Creator and never looked back. It hasn’t been easy, and it has never been much fun, but it has been beautiful and rewarding.

In the beginning of the scene above, it shows Romeo holding his head underwater and throwing his mask down. It is possible that this is a symbolic gesture of becoming baptized, born again, washed clean, and throwing away the masks hiding our faces. I think it is true that, even though God loves us just the way we are, we won’t be able to fall for God unless we remove the mask.

I pray that you can find God’s winks all throughout your life, I hope that you can discover the way that God loves you and you only. It may take some searching and heartache, but I swear your journey will lead to a beautiful love in the end.

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