Yes, we should like to see a burning bush-type sign

The first time I heard Sixpence None the Richer, I hated them. I didn’t like her voice, and I didn’t get what their lyrics were about, and they didn’t seem to be talking about God at all, so I didn’t know why they were a Christian band. I wasn’t counting JPMs, not quite, but it was close. And I wasn’t interested.

Enter Mike. If he had told me that Milli Vanilli was his favorite artist, I would have listened to them for him. And since he likes Sixpence, I was willing to give them another chance and try their self-titled album. And, you know, I liked it. Not all of it, and I’ll admit to being one of those people who really likes “Kiss Me” and its jangly guitars, but I liked it. I borrowed his copy and listened to it a lot.

It’s funny, because when I was thinking about this this morning, I realized that a lot of the songs that are really meaningful in my life come from that particular time of my life – Waterdeep’s “18 Bullet Holes,” and Counting Crows’ “St. Robinson in his Cadillac Dream,” just to name a few. We listened to a lot of music in those days, and maybe just the act of falling in love made everything new and exciting, made everything sparkle. Whatever it was, the Sixpence song I remember most from that time is “Anything.”

So hey baby, can you shed some light on the problem maybe?
‘Cause we’re all tired and we’d like to know
If we should pack our tents, shut down the show.
Yes, we should like to see a burning bush-type sign.
But anything would be fine.

I remember thinking that was really clever when I first heard it . . . and then everything hit the fan with Mike’s family. And I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to fix things. I didn’t know if I should run from Mike, because his family situation was a little more than I knew how to handle, or if I should let him go, no strings attached, rather than making him choose between me and his family. And somewhere along the line, this song became a bit of an anthem for me: “I need to know what to do, please. Skywriting would be nice, but anything, really.”

Of course, it doesn’t work like that. It’s pretty rare in this life that we get anything as clear as skywriting, or a voice from heaven, or a burning bush. We usually get just enough to know what to do next, and as all those nexts added up to me still being with Mike, I took that as my sign.

If I had had skywriting, like I requested, it’s not like it would have made the hard times any easier. I still would have been sad and worried and upset. And if I had really known back in that very difficult summer of 1999 how persistent some of those issues were going to be, maybe I would have run. Looking back, I’m content with the decisions I made. And this morning, when “Anything” came up on my iPod, I thought about some of my current struggles, and I prayed that I would know what to do. It doesn’t hurt, I thought, to ask for skywriting. If that’s not possible, though, could you show me what to do next?

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