the dance of the ink riddled fingers

how wide, how deep, how fierce, how strong, how furious, how sweet, how wild. Love.

Sometimes it’s the words from the short old man in his early seventies that make more sense than all of the sympathetic words of your peers, combined.  I took his hand and asked him quietly to pray for me after church this morning.  He’s one of the most wonderful men in my life because he hugs me more than anybody else in my life ever does – weekly, without fail.  I’ll see him every Sunday and that’s when I get my guaranteed hug or squeeze of hand (except when He’s in China on a mission trip – and when he is, I notice).  He’s got a really soft hand and a reasonably firm touch, and he squeezes my shoulder or hand pretty tight; and whoever is within conversational vicinity of us, he will introduce me to as his youngest daughter, or today, for the first time, he called me his grand-daughter.

So, he held my hand and squeezed it for emphasis during the ten or fifteen minutes he spoke to me for.  I could hardly get a word in.  He was making me cry.  I don’t know why I was shocked that he seemed to know exactly where I was in life because he’s always seemed to say the right things at the right time.  Sure, I see him every Sunday at church and I love standing next to him during worship time, but I don’t usually converse for long with him.  I always just look forward to my dose of human touch, because in an age where communication is internet, calls and text messages, I miss being touched – even she who I call my best friend doesn’t hug me as much as she used to, and I miss that.  Haha, there’s not a lot of touch at home either, though I’ve made habit of giving Daddio and/or Ma a peck on the cheek every time I leave the house – as a just incase it’s the last.  So I love this old man because he is of such strong faith, is so close to God and because he loves me, he holds my hand and hugs me weekly.

He lovingly repremanded me and asked why I was still in such an insecure place after so long.  It was frightening and relieving that he seemed to see straight through my plastic progress and see straight into the problem, the root of it; acknowledging but not focusing on the shrouded clouds of insecurity.  Haha, I often compare myself to those apparently more troubled than myself and tell myself I only need a little improving.  But this little man, shorter than me in stature but so much taller than me in measures of heart and identity actually revealed how shrunken I was… but also how little my understanding of love be.  This amazing man was our former senior pastor and also my orthodondist. He has a very contagious smile.  And I want everyone to know him because it’d probably increase my street credibility(!!) he is so old school and so very loving, I think everyone needs one like him!

The journey of late:
Over the last couple of years I learnt how romantic my Creator is.  And of course, He, being immeasurably creative, was always giving me wonderful gifts, unequaled by my friends, though sometimes given through them.  These I loved and treasured.  But I thought that to keep Him from somehow realising how unworthy I really was of His love for me, that I needed to maintain a particular image, (as if I could fool God).  “I need to do devotions for an hour every morning, I need to be very presentable in public, I need to sound as righteous as can be, I need to be so satisfied with His love that I shan’t need anyone apart from Him”! Not to say that these are evil practices, but when done out of fear of losing love does not exactly resemble a heart of worship.

It’s funny, the little quirky things that Love has done for me.  I had a thought yesterday whilst absorbing the poison of my exterior insecurity, letting facebook throw pictures of beautiful people at me and laugh at me, telling me that nobody would tell me I was pretty because there were little pictures to prove it – again, some smokey nerve of a mocker, and I wondered, I wonder if anyone would just want to take photos of me because that would mean I were worthy of the camera.  So a little later in the day I ended up going to a friend’s house to drop off a couple of things and they ask me then and there if I’d be happy to let them take photos of me because the light outside was nice. Ah, they didn’t think anything of it, they are photographers, but a whisper of a smile countering the snide remarks of before with a nudged “You were saying?…”

Haha, lucky me blessed I, I am adored by the greatest lover of the universe who continues to say in daily ‘coincidental’ incidents “I actually love you just because, and you’re insecurities are really invalid yet I will keep proving them wrong as long as they exist.”

I don’t know what I’m trying to say. I don’t have a punch line (as usual).  Only that I’ve been instructed to be more vulnerable with everyone and stop trying to be so tough.  Haha, my favourite 73 year old kept saying “love is risky business”! And I know it is, but I only know this in theory, not exactly in practice. In short, my loves, be loved.  And if you feel insufficiently so, then put yourself out there and try being vulnerable.  I’ll be trying it.  Or as the brilliant lyrics to some song that I heard and always remembered went, “If you need love, take the time to be love, breath it out, create love, see how things will turnnn”.

Don’t go thinking you have to work for it either, apparent love gets a little frustrated when we create a sort of understanding that it may be deserved or that it is a generous bribe for being good.

Love is never short and cannot be earned. “And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!” (2 Samuel 12:8b)


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