Wednesday, July 14, 2004

If I Were Her

I walk up to the house, and the oil I have, lavender, the best thing I could afford, is in my hand. Frankly, I'd probably have chosen lavender even if I could afford spikenard. He knows this about me, and I think, it'll mean more to Him. He's like that. He always loves you in the way He loves *you*. He makes you feel special. For Him, you are special. I smile when I remember this about Him.

I'm honest with myself that I'm not comfortable. These are *good* people at this gathering. They don't read Brennan Manning. They don't need to. I know some of them. Successful, religious, upstanding, and I don't begrudge them that. I just don't like the way they look down on me. They talk. They tsk, tsk. They feel sorry for me, and I hate that the most.

I'm not here for them. I steel myself. I'm here for Him. I make myself remember that. I think about this conversation I had with Him, and it's all about me flirting with men. He looks at me. He's got those eyes that look right into you. Not exotic eyes. They are simple, brown eyes, but when He looks at you He *sees* you, and oh, the love in those eyes! Even in that conversation about me flirting inappropriately. He looks at me and says, "What are you doing?" And I say, "oh." It is a tiny, breathy 'oh' that catches in my throat. It is not an interjection of understanding, it's an involuntary utterance, and I shake my head because something inside feels loose and fragile, and I want to cry, and I want to hug Him, but all I say is that little 'oh'and smile a strange, half, not-really-a-smile smile, because He's caught me. He knows my game, and calls me on it.

"I just want to be loved," I say, and I don't mean to be this truthful, but He always draws the awful truth out of me with His simple questions. As usual, He's gotten to the point, straight away, and in answer, He says, "You are loved." That's all He says, and it's enough.

I open the door and walk inside the house. I see a man that I know only too well. He thinks I have too many kids, and told me once that the only thing I was good for is breeding. I walk past him. I'm not here for him. Jesus is in the room.

I see Him. I'm across the room, and like radar, He detects me, and turns. The people grow quiet as they follow His eyes. What's got Jesus' attention? I can tell they can't believe it's me. Again, I think to myself, I'm not here for them.

I'm five feet away. Those eyes, they are so tender. I start choking up, and stop. I don't want to cry. I just want to touch Him. I want to thank Him. He didn't abandon me. He didn't disappoint me. He loved me, and here's the thing, He taught me that I could love a man with out an agenda. I'm nervous, because I don't touch Him when we meet, but I will on this night. I want Him to be the first man I've ever touched without some head game. And what's more, I don't want to abandon Him, or disappoint Him, either.

He lifts His face, just barely, but I notice it. He's beckoning me forward, and I come. I want to do this beautifully, but I don't. I am clumsy when I pour oil on His head, but He doesn't flinch. I wipe it though His hair, and I move closer, so I can smell the way his hair smells. It is sweaty. It smells like Him. I like the way He smells.

I plop down on the floor, the only grace between us being His. I don't care that it hurt my knees. I start bawling like a baby and I'm not sure why. I rub the oil between my hands, and I can't see because I'm crying so hard. This is not a beautiful gesture. It is raw, and aching, and terrible and amazing. He just sits there, oblivious to the stares and whispers, and there's an outcry or two. He just let's me rub his feet, and kiss them, and smell the sweet and musky scent of lavender. I don't sexualize this moment, because it is Him. It is my Jesus, and this moment is the prologue to my deliverance.

I love Him. I love Him. I love Him. And I cry so hard that snot falls from my nose and tears from my eyes onto His feet. I can't stop. I love Him. And I didn't think to bring tissues, because I wanted to be poised and elegant, but I'm a mess. I don't even think to wipe my tears with my clothes. I wash his feet, using my hair. My hair is very short and kinky curly. Afro hair, with just a touch of something straighter and finer, but not much. I don't know if it tickles Him. If it does, He doesn't let on.

He doesn't touch me back.

I believe it's because it was my time to do the touching. I think, if I ever stop crying and get up, things will be different for me. I can touch without the stain of evil impossible to cleanse. I can love with some measure of purity. Maybe I'm not perfect, but He's taught me something big here tonight. He taught me that I am not a whore. I am not a breeder. His love is His hands. I am touched by His love.

When I can rise, I stand and look at Him, and there are those eyes, again. I am still crying, but now I am laughing through my tears, and I am so happy, and He laughs with me. He is my laughter. My Lord.

I bow to Him, kissing His feet one last time. It is a long, lingering kiss that I don't want to end. It is time for me to leave. I walk out of the house, and the night air is warm and moist. It's like walking in a cloud. Fireflies light the night-time sky like a string of Christmas lights. I don't care what they say about me when I leave. He loves me. He *loves* me.

He will remember me.


Let Him love you, too.
raga d


Geo said...

Thanks for this! I post today a link to you for others to be blessed by this as I was today.


SteveW said...

I'll bet that if that was you, in the gospels, washing His feet with your hair, that you would do it just like you have said.....and however He responded it would be with the same realization. "He loves me. He *loves* me. He will remember me."
Great post. May your day be full of that love for you and your children.

Paula said...

This is beautiful, Claudia! I've been thinking about it every since I read it and then got an email talking about that passage in scripture. I'm listening, Lord? What are you saying to me?

Hey--about the guys who attacked you about having seven children--(trying not to let my blood boil) . . . Children are a treasure from the Lord and being a mother is a great honor. Every one of those precious people you gave birth to bring to the world a piece of God's creative genuis. Each one is a gift--a wonder--a delight! Wow! God trusted you with seven children! What an honor!

Deborah said...

Dear Claudia,

Thanks for this post. Thanks for being so real. Yeah, I can see it. I can see Him. You brought a passage to life, one that we think we know.

Bless you,


beulah said...

Oh wow! that is so beautiful.

upwords said...

Aw, girl. You've got me crying again. Good for nothing but breeding... They like that one don't they. I'm going to go and get my fro trimmed soon and fluff it good, like a big nappy cotton cloud.

You just gave me a hot oil treatment. :)

Marilynn Griffith