making boxes in chicago

On Wednesday night, my friends Caitlin, Christy, and I made a trek up to Chicago to visit our friend, Emily. Emily is a sophomore at Judson University, about an hour outside of Chicago, and well… she just needed some love and fun. So, we drove up there, stayed in a fabulous hotel, and had a blast all day yesterday.

What I love about Emily is her unique ability to make absolutely anything fun. When I was an intern at E91 and she was a sophomore in high school, we sat around my house for an entire afternoon seeing how many M&M’s we could shove up our nose without getting stuck. I guess you could say we both have a love for simple and childish ways of life.

Emily’s best friend died this year. I keep trying to find other eloquent ways to state that, and there are none. Her best friend died and since then, inevitably, a part of her has been lost, too. Yesterday while we were touring around Chicago, we made human boxes instead of human pyramids (Not enough people for a pyramid? Make a box instead!), ventured in and out of hotels–wanting a peek at their ballrooms and courtyards, and just laughed. A lot. But we also sat in a lot of silence. The type of silence that recognizes that life is forever different, and also very painful, and that losing your best friend to death takes away a piece of who you are. It just does. And no amount of words or laughter can change that.

We walked all over the city, laughing one minute and talking about the mystery of God the next. Asking questions about why God allows evil to happen while simultaneously scouting out box-making places. Venturing in and out of H&M looking for clothes and then seeing a yellow balloon that says, “Consume less, share more,” as we wandered down Michigan Ave. It was the ultimate irony, I suppose. Life is both beautiful and so very painful.

Because death is just so full, and man so small
Well I’m scared of what’s behind, and what’s before
And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears
And  love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears
Get over your hill and see what you find there
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair
(Mumford & Sons, After the Storm)

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