The Nearness of Love

“Set me as a seal upon Your heart, as a seal upon Your arm, for Love is strong as death, Jealousy is fierce as the grave. It’s flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench Love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for Love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.” 1

“…I am with you always…” 2

Outside my window, Spring has arrived. She has begun painting bright green buds in varying shades on the trees and shrubs, sprinkling some with light reds, pinks, and whites. She dips her hand in her basket and scatters wildflowers on the ground as if there is no cost. She takes out her atomizer and perfumes the earth with abandon, skipping here and there, stopping to mist fragrance in a particular place before moving on to do it elsewhere. The perennial flowers, grasses, buds, and evergreens soak in the rich, damp earth, coming alive to pollenate and grow. Birds welcome her enthusiastically with their many songs of busy preparation. Deer and rabbit thank her for the generous supply of tender green shoots, twitching their tails in contented grazing. Furry creatures of all types run and play in Spring’s fresh light, breathing her clean, damp air and drinking in the energy it provides. Others simply lay soaking in the warming rays of her sun, lidded eyes half shut in contentment as flying insects go about their meandering way.

I, too, deeply breathe the air of Spring, my open window an invitation to the influence of her work. I smell the rich earth and feel the tickle of pollen in my nose. However aware my other senses are of Spring’s arrival, my eyes are blind to her this morning. There is beauty and magic everywhere, yet I am unable to see it. My eyes are turned inward. My mind is running, full of today’s goals and tomorrow’s plans. There is so much I am waiting for to happen. So many details to work out. So much arranging to do.

I feel a hand on my shoulder, at the same time sensing a familiar Presence. I hadn’t been aware of it before, but, now with the hand there, I notice the tension in my neck and shoulders. I am not surprised. There is much on my mind and heart this morning. My Friend’s hand rests there as we stand in silence at the window looking out. My tight shoulder feels the realness of his hand. I am drawn slowly from my burdensome reverie by the comfort of his touch. My mind and heart begin to slow in the abiding quiet of his nearness. Then, suddenly, like a deflated balloon, my neck, shoulders, and then whole being relaxes. I am safe. I am His.

He is here.

The thought grew out of the dry cracks of my heart like a budding rose as I hear him say softly, “I am with you.” A smile escapes from within my heart, landing softly on my lips. It is the smile of a child, unconcerned with many things because he is carried by his Father. It is the smile of Belonging.

My Friend turns from the window and stoops to gather the burdens I left at his feet. Lifting them without effort he heads to the door. “Follow Me!”, he calls back. And so I do. With a new heart, I skip shamelessly outside to walk with him into a new day. The sounds of pleasant conversation following us like a fragrant breeze as we travel the road of his choosing.

Spring smiles happily after us.

Photo by Pixabay on

1 SS 8:6,7paraphrased and capitalized for emphasis

2 Matt 28:20partial

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