I love concerts. I’m kind of a concert junkie. I love the booming bass that makes your insides vibrate. I love the atmosphere. I love the jumping, the waving of the arms, and the crowd surfing. And I really love the way your voice breaks the next morning proving that the concert the night before was epic. But what I love most about concerts is seeing the music artist in the flesh. I stand in the midst of thousands of people, close my eyes and go back. I go back to my car, listening to that song on my ipod as I roadtrip. I go back to my room, as I have a dance party with myself. I go back to the beach where I laid, basking the beauty of the summer sun. I go back to mile 12 where I thought I couldn’t run another mile. And then I open my eyes and marvel that the voice I listened to so many times before has a body. The voice comes out of a mouth on a face, a real face. A real person. And at the concert, I realize that that musician in the flesh is 100 times better than the voice I hear through ear-buds.
There’s something about flesh.
There’s something about seeing somebody. But there’s something even greater about being able to touch that person. Skyping, telephone calls, and texting are all great, but seeing someone in the flesh is magnificent. A hug, a high-five, a kiss, a hand-hug…the flesh is wonderful.
When you haven’t been with someone in a long time, you know how wonderful it is to finally be in the same room as that person. Their voice is clearer. Their eyes shine brighter. Their laugh sounds better than any “haha” or “lol”. But before you are with that person, the wait can be excruciating. Your heart aches and longs to be near that person. As you drift off to sleep, you try to remember what exactly they smelled like. You try to remember how their voice sounded, how their hug felt, how their hair fell across their forehead. You replay previous times together and long for a reunion. You want to be with that person again. And sometimes your desire for that person to come near takes up many waking minutes of your day.
Two thousand years ago, the people of God were longing. They were waiting, some more patiently than others for God to come near. I imagine their hearts ached. They remembered the prophesies and the promises. And they waited.
And in a tiny body of flesh and bones and blood, God came. He didn’t just send a picture. He didn’t just speak to His people. But He came, in the flesh to His people. God, a human. God, with a face, a voice, and certain mannerisms.
Tonight I’m longing. For snow, for family to finally arrive, for Peppermint Hershey’s Kisses. But mostly, I’m longing for the Christ. He came two thousand years ago. And He’s coming again. And nights like tonight, I imagine what His voice sounded like, what He smelled like, or what His hug felt like. This wait is excruciating. My heart aches to see my God in the flesh. Anticipation rises as Christmas so quickly approaches. I don’t know the detail of our reunion, but I do know it will be epic.
Until then, I’ll continue to wait…and go to an occasional concert.