God knows when a touch of love is most needed. A thirsty spirit, a hungry soul–what more when love is shown in the simplest way,
Thank God for growing up in church, regardless of how bad our own family situation is, there may be a possibility of having some other fathers and mothers of another nuclear family unit whom we may have a glimpse of how godly parents, may in some ways, look like. Of course, the grass is always greener on the other side, but at the least, there are people who may actually choose to fear God and aspire to be godly parents.
It was most uncalled for. I ran into one of the few fatherly figure whom I haven’t seen very often these days because we are still in the same church, but worshipping at different centres. In his very own gentle way, he has always very kindly given me some attention even when it has to be brief, to ask after, to listen, to care when we happened to bump into each other. It was yet another very brief exchange at a carpark. In the familiar loving tone, he asked after me and gave me a very quick fatherly side-goodbye-hug before he stepped out of the lift. Tears welled up in my eyes as the lift door closed after him. I was dumb-founded by my own overwhelmed emotions but within a split second, hurried to brush off the droplets of tears that fell out of my eyes on my cheeks. It was quite a hectic work week but I didn’t think it was so bad that I needed to seek comfort. I was touched. I felt loved. Regardless, life carries on.
On the Sunday night in the same weekend, my biological dad, who had been trying very hard to connect over the last year after his non-existence in my life for more than two decades, sent me a few photos of his daughter, my step sister’s graduation. He definitely did so to share his joy. It was a family photo I never had. I was happy for her but I felt so bad that I did not like to see those pictures although I should be celebrating with her. It is definitely of no fault of hers that I grew up in a broken family and still living in a complicated family situation. We met a few times, she seems nice enough a person to deserve my heart-felt wishes. Feeling so disgusted with the way I felt, I spent the whole of the following day trying to fix my heart that is out of place, fix me.
While I was struggling to get out of my self-pity, jealousy and the disgust with my ugly state-of-being, I was reminded of that touch of love. It flooded my mind and filled my heart with warmth. The warmth of a father’s heart, a touch from our Father’s Love. It was more than enough. It feels surreal but the touch was real. The overwhelmed feeling of self-pity, jealousy and self-condemnation was alleviated.
We hear often that love is patient and kind, not envious or prideful. We hear that human love is a reflection of divine love. We hear that God is love. But how do we understand its work in our lives, its perils and rewards? We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually; we need people around us if we are to know anything, even ourselves. A friend just recently commented on how there is no need to keep asking “Where are You, God?” and quoted something from C.S. Lewis about how we can see God just by looking at the person next to us. According to Genesis 1:27, we are indeed created in the image of God and in Genesis 2:7, the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. We may have fallen but this breath of life has kept mankind going since the beginning. Like it or not, we may catch glimpses and experience presence of God in the person whom we least expect–a touch of love through His Love.
A proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune says when life gives us lemons, make lemonade. It is all good to be optimistic and live life with a positive attitude in the face of challenges that never quite end til we breathe our last but how long and how far can this optimism bring us? And if it does, what is this tenacity for? If there is no pleasure to talk about at all during the process, it better be for something worthwhile to bet our entire life on–something that promises to give more than life? It isn’t even any easier for some of us who live our lives believing that there is a God who had sacrificed His Son to die for our sins and coming back for us soon and very soon, because we too, are not spared of the harsh realities in this world. Many times, it feels worse because of the knowledge given to us. It is a constant struggle to remind ourselves to keep our eyes on not even the prize, but just God. We need brief glimpses of the presence of God now to give us hope for the time will come that we’ll see Him face to face—for the eternal now when we’ll never be without Him. When faith shall be sight as described in Revelation 21:3. Sometimes the struggle we’ve lived with for so long becomes white noise that distracts us from remembering that the presence of God will solve it all. The presence of God now brings hope for the presence of God for eternity. As the glory of God fills the whole earth, the touch of love through the creation in the image of God carries our Father’s divine Love that brings hope in our wait for the Reunion–to dwell in the eternal presence of God.
(Featured image, courtesy of https://tinyurl.com/Mortalsnaps : Botanical Gardens, Singapore; March 2019)
His beautiful & relentless love makes a soul relentlessly beautiful.