I’ve been talking about LOVE recently, frequently…but I admit, I don’t have any perfect description for that, except by telling a story of a man very close to my heart. He wasn’t like that to me until I came to know that he was the one who first loved me – genuinely and selflessly loved me. Now, how would I tell this story?…
I didn’t do anything to gain his favor. I was ugly, dirty, bad, seriously bad. I indulged myself in parties, alcohol, gossips, lies, boys…sex. They’re all pleasurable, and I wouldn’t even want to stop those habits. If someone would try to stop me, I’d say “Get out of my way!”. This man knew all these things about me. Now how would I feel about that? I felt so embarrassed when he told me that he’s there watching me, every single day of my life. From where? I don’t know, from afar? from the club’s corner? the library? I really don’t know. But when I looked into his eyes, even without trying to stop me from what I had been doing…His eyes were burning coals melting my big rock of pride. I wished I could melt and disappear with it. For the first time, I felt the pain, the shame, the guilt of all that was. I felt like I had just risen from my tomb of past. I was dead. And this man’s touch, and the deep compassion and empathy I saw in his eyes made me alive. It was so sudden. He made me realize the weight of what I have done and the judgement that awaits me. He wasn’t taking away his eyes off me. Then I felt water filling up my eyes. It went thicker, and thicker, until I felt the first drop flow through my cheeks. I was holding my breath, but I couldn’t take it any longer…I wept. As I was getting down to my knees, my hand ran through his face, then his shoulders, through his arms, and to his hands…my hands to his. The contact felt so strange…why? I kept on running my fingers through these beautiful hands…then I felt a gap in the middle of his palm…a circular gap…a hole. One hole on each hand. What are these? Then before a word could come out from my mouth, he scooped me like a groom would do to his bride. I was in shock, and I couldn’t utter a word. He started to walk.
“Do you know those things would happen?” he asked.
I know he was referring to my life’s disasters. “No,” I answered.
“I know. You weren’t there when I…..Do you have any idea how long I’ve waited for this moment?”
I was lost, really lost in this man, his touch, his piercing look, and I couldn’t say anything.
He broke the silence, “How long have I waited for this moment to touch you, have contact with you, to talk to you, to see you looking at me like this? Like I exist?” he uttered the last line almost whispering to my ears. “You kept ignoring me before. But I promised myself to make you notice me, in a way that you won’t be able to resist my presence. And here you are now, curled up in my arms, helpless…like how I planned it.”
I was really helpless, and lost in his arms, but I love how the situation was going. I wasn’t even sure where he’s taking me.
“I promised myself to get you away from that life. To save you from the world where you don’t belong. You belong with me,” he held my hand to his heart, “right here. And now that I have you, I won’t ever let you go. No one and nothing can ever snatch you out of my hands, out of my love.”
And I couldn’t pull back the tears in my eyes. And at the impulse of my joy, I wrapped my arms around his neck. I wept again…this time, a weep of relief, of joy. How could a man ever love someone like me?
Suddenly I remembered his hands, but before I could ask him, he said as if he could read my mind, “I did it for you. It should have been you…nailed on that cross.”
“What for?”,” I exclaimed.
“For the penalty of your sins.”
“Why did you take my place?”
“So you wouldn’t have to suffer it all…so you wouldn’t stand under judgement…so you can live and be with me wherever I go. So you can talk to me as I talk to you…so I can have your heart. I did it because I love you, don’t ask me another ‘why’…I chose to love you.”
I am struck amazed by his words. I don’t know this man, but he’s so engaging. And his voice is like a sonata, taking me away with its music, making my body numb, until all I can see is his light and all I can hear is his voice, and all at once I am succumbed to all that he is, to his divine presence. And I have the peace. I know I can trust him, I can live the rest of my life with him. I don’t have any idea how long he’s been walking, but it’s like just the beginning of forever. And I’m still in his arms. I am trying to think of questions, there are so many things I’d like to ask him, so many things unclear. And yet, I am lost in the moment. Surely he can answer these all, but for now, I love to linger in his arms. I don’t know what will happen next but the security of his love and his words are more than enough to hush away all the worries, the fears, the doubts…the past.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39