Tonight I took a run in the twilight.
I was running only a few miles tonight, just a warmdown from yesterday’s eighteen miler. And it was gorgeous.
Bats were flitting around the warm summer evening. I startled a well fed coyote. The silhouettes of pine needles and maple leaves were so sharp you could cut yourself on them. I was loving Jesus as I ran, thankful for this summer day, thankful for the soccer games and the sunshine, thankful for friends and family, thankful for church.
The music on my playlist changed to a song by Sigor Ros called Glosoli. This is a band from Iceland, and they sing not in English, but in some hauntingly mythic language (I’m guessing Icelandish). The song begins like a whisper, and then builds like a hurricane, but the whole thing is so beautiful it gives me a lump in my throat. There is a video that goes with the song.
It’s more of a short film.
A boy with a drum. He begins to journey. As he travels, he enlists other children to join him on his journey. Each child is so beautiful: they’re symbolic, they’re metaphoric, they’re Icelandic. These two are frightened and so they’ve hidden behind masks. These have learned violence, somehow. This one is isolated, alone. This one knows love. The boy with the drum calls them, and they all come. They leave whatever life they have known, they drop their nets, and they join this quest, this journey, this pageant. When the boy with drum arrives at the place he has been leading them to, he looks significantly at the horizon. He sets his face towards Jerusalem, if you will. And then he beats his drum.
He beats his drum.
He beats his drum.
With wild abandon, he begins to run with all that he has forward, upward, over a gently sloping grass-covered hillside. The other children join him. It is serious, ecstatic, jubilant, triumphant. The drum is cast aside. The final masks are removed. The children run upwards and upwards until they reach the very edge of an impossibly high cliff.
And then they soar off the edge.
Faces beaming, they soar.
And that’s the end. We don’t know the back story, and we don’t know the future story. Here they are. They find one another. They journey together. They run. They soar. All led by a boy with a drum.
Jesus came to bring us life, and life to the full.
He didn’t just come to set us free, he came to set us free, indeed.
And I would argue, even now, he’s beating his drum, and ready to show you what it takes to soar.
It was dark as I finished my run. The song was over, and there was a lump in my throat. I walked the last bit in silence, listening to the sounds of the night. I felt joyful, quiet, serious. It is a good thing to know the drummer. It’s a good thing to follow him to the heights.