growing up in the highlands of papua new guinea, there was a hill. it was a shortcut to and from the one general store where bread was a choice between white or brown stale. but somehow the sweet and savoury treats of youth were perfection. the hill was very steep and after up we dropped our bags and backpacks caught breath in collapsing. we would sit, sipping on barely cold bottles of fanta and coke. chasing twisties with beginning to melt chocolate.
going down the hill, friends would join arms to keep balance and boys learning to be gentlemen would offer a shoulder to brace against.
dry, sunny days sitting at the top would eventually lead to a favorite game. daring to race downhill. testing can-you-stop-before:
- running into the sharp tall kunai grass above the groot’s house. scratches were quick and certain and a drop off was imminent.
- risk entering the scraggly pine forested graveyard. death was still too far away from our childhood to understand the testament to life that was held there it but it always quickened steps and lowered voices.
i was happy to watch. boys running with bravado as their hopeful shield. i would join a friend if i was prodded long enough to set caution to the side. but i always held back. never all in.
not like in an old movie called the man from snowy river (1982). set in australia, it is romeo and juliet meets the outback on horseback. taking my twelve year old heart with it was a scene that i remember often.
hesitation nowhere to be found, there is a leap of commitment and courage from horse and rider.
it is that no turning back, save the day moment. the kind that leaves you no choice but to fall in love with the hero, blink back tears and cheer out loud.
i love this scene because it is how my heart loves. it is the only part of me that doesn’t check first, hold back, weigh the risks, wait for certain. doubt.
it is love downhill. in nearly unstoppable motion. i am all in.
“for god so loved the world,that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
john 3.16 (ESV)