Recently I found myself, yet again, on the D.C. Metro. This happens around twice a day, going to and from work. Some people call it a commute. I call it a fun ride on the choo-choo train. (Whatever it takes to get me excited about smooshing up against complete strangers in hot, crowded train cars, eh?)
On this particular day, I was minding my own business, listening to some tunes through earbuds. And then I spotted him. My future husband. He was standing across the car from me, leaning effortlessly against the wall, looking cool as a cucumber. He was dressed in jeans and a casual button down, which got me wondering about where he worked. (In D.C., the go-to career uniform is a suit and tie.) Clearly he owns his own hugely successful Internet start-up, set for a much-anticipated IPO next fall. His hair, his eyes, his swagger, his lack of a wedding ring — it was clear that this man would make beautiful children with me. Probably five — three boys and two girls. Their names would be… well… let’s not spoil the surprise.
What really drew me to the realization that this was, indeed, my future husband was what he was reading. In his sexy hands he held The Circle Maker by none other than Mark Batterson, New York Times bestselling author and pastor of the church I attend. What are the odds?
So, Hottie McFutureHubbie is not only visually appealing and clearly cool, he can also read (plus!), is apparently a Christian (or at least interested), and may very well attend the same church as me. I heard wedding bells right there underneath the Potomac River.
But what to do? Do I just walk right up to him and say hi? Do I act sexy and try to make eye contact? Do I pull out my own copy of The Circle Maker and hope he catches on? (This was my favorite strategy, though sadly I wasn’t carrying my copy of the book that day.)
He had earbuds in, too. Probably listening to some music that I adore as well, like Bruce Springsteen or Marc Cohn or Harry Connick Jr. I can picture us blasting that same music as we cook dinner together on Tuesday nights — smoked salmon, steamed asparagus, wild rice and carrot cake for dessert, if you’re curious.
And then the train — and my dreams — came to a screeching halt, and he walked off. Just like that. He came in and out of my life in an instant, the blink of an eye. Probably the shortest relationship I’ve ever had. Wait… no, the second shortest.
It left me wondering how the heck I could ever approach a guy. I know I act all cool and confident, but really I’m a nervous wreck around cute boys. In my defense, we must acknowledge that I had several things working against me:
- The train car was crowded. Not overly so, but there would definitely be an audience had I chosen to make my move.
- He was across the car, so I’d have to weave my way over to him. Not exactly smooth.
- He had earbuds in, which always makes starting a conversation awkward.
- I’m a big scaredy cat.
Since that fateful day when I found the love of my life and subsequently lost him altogether, my pastor somehow found out about this ordeal (guilty party: my loud-mouth sister). He said, and I quote, “She didn’t listen to the Holy Spirit! That was her husband!” (Funny guy, that Mark Batterson.)
But what if his joke is really truth in disguise? Maybe I need to take more initiative — be bolder, stronger, more confident. Maybe I need to… gulp… ask a guy out.
Well, that can’t be right.
I got to thinking about what The Circle Maker is all about — praying circles around your biggest dreams and greatest fears… and knowing that God will come through as only he can. So I’m taking the easy way out and praying for this man — that he will come to his senses, realize I’m the only one that will ever satisfy his deepest desires, and start making eye contact with fellow commuters during rush hour. Remember: Nothing is impossible for God.
I haven’t run into my ex-husband since that day. I miss him. I wish it had ended better. But, alas, the world of marital separation is a tough road to travel. For now, I’m fervently praying circles around reconciliation. And I carry — very visibly — a copy (or two) of The Circle Maker everywhere I go. I also bought The Circle Maker T-shirt and a matching baseball cap. I will not miss my opportunity again.
And for the heck of it, I’ll post my own version of Craigslist’s hilarious (and creepy) “Missed Connections” here, just in case he’s reading:
I spotted you on the Orange Line somewhere between Clarendon and L’Enfant. You were reading The Circle Maker. You were engrossed in your reading and didn’t notice how perfect we are for each other. I’ve been praying circles for you. Call me.