I wish I could make a movie capturing the essence of this place. Perhaps someday I will, recording Miami’s quiet song, playing out of pavement cracks available only to those earnestly listening for it. Tales of travelers now settled down, local artists the world will never know but we will always worship. Coffee so sweet it turns your soul to syrup, handed over by the barista whose name will forever be a mystery, but who always remembers yours. It’s the song of rainy summers, jeans torn to shreds so you can pretend it’s fall in the ostentatious heat; it’s breaking waves and poetry yelled from street corners. It’s flat roofs and sun-bleached walls; trends’ voices mingled with jazz of ancient days.
One of my favorite guilty pleasures is that of eavesdropping during solitary cafe sittings. Perhaps it’s part of this writer’s curse: the need to observe people not only from the outside, but get in their heads, to hear the thoughts hidden humans share in times of supposed anonymity. I am but a bystander then, glimpsing for a brief second the unfolding of their lives; lives I will never again encounter, stories I’ll never know the ending of.
I’ll be leaving soon to follow my Lord into unknown nations, and as the departure days draws nearer I’m realizing just how much I’m going to miss this town where rebels come to regroup, artists to be inspired, and lonely souls to find solace and society. My prayer is that when I return I’ll be better equipped to share the love of Christ with the citizens of this cultural melting pot. This is not the happiest of cities, it’s true, but we are a passionate bunch, and I would rather have it said we were full of life and honesty than had pretty pastel smiles plastered to dead lips. I would rather be among the fighters, searching truth out from under every corner, helping show them the path to the Kingdom. For in reality, that is all any of us here are after; the Ultimate Satisfaction only Christ can bring. No amount of Colombian brew or Fleetwood Mac records will do it; no finishing of the perfect painting or finally cranking out the novel you’ve always said you would write but never seemed to be able to get around to will soothe the ache of living without the light of Eternity shining upon your face.