February 12, 2013
I will never forget the first time I visited Greenwich Village in New York City. It’s got a ragged heartbeat that pounds beneath the street and vibrates up through your feet. Whispers of revolutions long-past carry through the breezes amongst the essence of fresh bread from that one bakery on Bleecker Street. Art was everywhere and in everyone I passed. At 21, I had never seen anything like it. Nor had I ever felt more at home. It was in one of the first few years that I really started to get into Bob Dylan that I was fortunate enough to visit the place that launched him into the world.
I love Bob Dylan.
He’s a restless, wandering genius. He’ll tell you that straight to your face, too. He’ll tell you there’s no one like him. He’ll tell you he was born in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and he is simply a traveling troubadour, fulfilling his destiny before God takes him.
I swallowed this notion whole at a ripe age of 21. So fast that I didn’t even have a chance to see what it was that I’d be digesting. It has been dormant for years, suppressed by methods of my own design. But now, thanks to God’s skillful hand, this notion is beginning to take root somewhere in my soul. It holds up a mirror to my face as it begins to spread throughout my blood stream, it beats wildly, stunning me into a silence I recognize as an old friend, and yet someone I fear with all of my existence. Like a place I could never seem to find, but where I should have been all along. Someone or someplace that was robbed from me early, and I kept trying to get back to.
We’re all just trying to get home, to the house of our Father and bring as many people with us as we can.
As for Bob Dylan, he affected me so much so, that I feel better about the world knowing that he’s out there somewhere doing his thing, still existing, and still fascinating the masses. He’s like a giant, purple ink stain on art history. Even though his music is an acquired taste for most, he still manages to make everybody think. He’s mysterious enough to really make you scratch your head and wonder what he’s up to.
At 21, God used the musings of a legendary musician to show me it’s cool if you’re a little bit different than what everyone thinks you should be. For me, it’s been a life-long battle to finally accept who I was and stop trying to be everyone else. Now, I’m finally starting to really understand what that means.
We should always be making people think. We should all always be a little bit different.
I may still be enamored with the Old Testament, but in the name YHWH, God wasn’t messing around with the details. He told Israel exactly who he was in that name, and therefore painting a glorious picture for us. God’s presence in the name YHWH carries beautifully throughout the rest of the Old Testament when suddenly in a flash of Divine brilliance, it’s incarnated into a Man. The God-Man walked the earth and did the unthinkable...
...and came back.
The world, to this day, really doesn’t know what to do with that. The only thing they have to go on is us. And we, as his followers, are charged with the task of reflecting the weight of that unspeakable magnitude.
We’re all supposed to be a little bit different.
Kate Hightower is writing to you in the midst of her Master of Divinity pursuit at Gordon-Conwell—Jacksonville where she is also a Byington Scholar. She is a debilitatingly right-brained, born-in-the-wrong-century, introspective pseudo-nerd with passions that range anywhere from writing, to French cooking to Bob Dylan. These days she resides in Jacksonville with one mental foot in the GCTS Library downtown, and the other is beach-side with her Golden Retriever, Stella… the world's first dog superhero.