This wee chap is now two years and two months old. With just twenty-fours notice I have seen him only twice in the past seven weeks.
This wee chap.
One whom I love without condition. One who loves without condition. One without sin. Both without sin. Neither sees sin in the other. What is love and what is sin never debated or judged. Love without condition wastes no time analysing the what, when and how.
Both times I have seen him there has been distance between us. He in mum and dad’s car. Me on the driveway. Six feet of distance. It is both precious and painful. Close enough to know this chasm is real. Love enough to choose this rather than nothing at all. Yet the confusion unspoken – maybe unprocessed by one – is clear to see in both.
Why this discomfort when neither of us have done the other wrong?
On his face, in his eyes, his movement, his stillness, his glance this way and that, on my face, my eyes, my movement, my stillness, my glance this way and that, we both feel-sense-know this is not right.
Anyone who loves and is loved knows this is not right.
After a few moments the inner pull to stretch out my arms and touch his fingertips … to caress his hands … to embrace in a hug and cuddle so healing and nurturing for us both … That inner pull becomes irresistible. He knows. He knows I am holding back. He knows he is being held back.
Anyone who loves and is loved knows.
I am not God. I am not God Soft Hands Jesus. But if my god is love. And s/he is. Then why did we create this:
Why – without any pandemic or lockdown – did we choose to create this separation and distance? Why do we teach and preach a manual to tell us how we have sinned, how we cannot but sin, how we will always sin, how we are born to sin, how we have no choice but to sin. Why do we revere sin and our saving from sin above Love? Why do we prefer to remain distant from “God” instead of allowing an embrace so simple yet so life-changing? Why do we recite the greatest of these is – teach the greatest of these is – attempt to live the greatest of these is …
Just way more than six feet distant all the time?
Why do we even think it normal? Why do we think it biblically correct? Why do we judge each other on who loves correctly through service and sacrifice? Why does our full diary and double-booking and committees and leadership define our worth? No matter how much we protest it doesn’t.
Anyone who loves and is loved knows that is not love.
Today was my second time in seven weeks. We both know this is not right. I now know the reality of loving in the moment with my hands behind my back. The pull is too great not to. The instinct to enfold and embrace too strong. To make that distance and separation go away. That is The Greatest Of These.
Right now I must hold back.
But coronavirus or not I know One who does not, One who cannot, One who will not, One who never has, One who never will. One who cares not a jot whether I read my bible. Cares not a jot whether I rock up to church in-person or in-virtual or not at all. Cares not for all the biblically correct mumbo-jumbo. One who cannot help but love without condition.
Isn’t THAT the “grace freely given” we teach and preach?
The Greatest Of These is not a burden or a cross. Not a sacrifice or a service. Not a right way or a wrong way. Love does not need me to believe. The Greatest Of These Is.
I know love is that simple. You know love is that simple. We all know love is that simple. Anyone who loves and is loved knows it is that simple.
So why do we make it all so impossible? Why do we prefer being being biblically correct and theologically qualified? Why make this distance and separation a cross to bear?
That’s not right or correct because it’s not love.
Anyone who loves and is loved knows that.