It's from nearly twenty years ago, in April 1991. I was sitting on the side of a fishing junk in Kowloon Bay... fifteen years old... dangling my feet over the edge, watching the sunset... on the way home after a hot day in a little fishing village on a little island... freckles on my sunburned face... and content in the smell of fish and saltwater, poetry pouring through my mind... lost in my own thoughts.
I was listening to a Billy Joel tape that belonged to my friend Ashley House. That was back in the day, when we listened to tapes. That was the first time I ever listened to Billy.
As I listened to the melody and lyrics of "She's got a way about her"... I remember the way the water lapsed against the wood of the fishing junk. And the whirr of the rewind button as I had to listen to it again. It's such a beautiful song: written for his daughter.
It is my favourite memory. One of them, anyway.
The lyrics captured me. I had already spent many years in church. My Dad had been the worship leader. So I spent many Sundays watching people responding to the spirit of God in music. I knew it was real.
But it was the piano man singing this simple song, on a little cassette walkman, on the side of a fishing junk, with my feet in the water of Hong Kong's harbour that profoundly expressed the heart of the Father. I have never forgotten it.
I listened to that same song, tonight...coming home from a hot day in a big law firm in another big Asian city... trying to get my head around another unexpected adventure.
I heard that song like I did the first time. There is always an invitation to go deeper into that place in His heart. And I felt it again, tonight.
I am flying to Vientiane tomorrow morning. I'll be there for two days, back late Thursday night. Vientiane is a city that I know very little about. All I know is that it is on the Mekong River, was established in the 9th Century and has French, Chinese, Soviet and American architecture. I also know that there's a good Italian restaurant, with sweet red wine and fresh made pizzas. And that sounds like a good place to be.
I am in awe of how I ended up with a plane ticket to go. And I hardly know what to expect when I land. But I know that I am a very loved daughter.
"Everywhere she goes, a million dreams of love surround her. Everywhere." - Billy Joel.