I wrote this a few years back, for (in)courage. But today, on Holy Saturday, when Jesus was buried and the people thought everything was over and finished and done, we can hold onto the fact that Sunday is coming. That Love is still being redeemed.
I saw Jesus the day my father shaved the hair off my mother’s head.
This was two years ago, back when she had cancer. Jesus was there that day, too.
When my mom asked my dad if he would shave her head -- because the chemo was causing her hair to fall out and it was just too hard to pick up the pieces -- he said yes. When my mom asked my younger brother and I if we would be there when he shaved it, we said yes, too.
Jesus was on her right side, my dad on her left. Eli and I stood behind. I looped my arm through his and watched.
Watched the hair and tears mingle and fall together into the sink.
Watched my dads hand curve gently on the small of her back.
Watched love happen right there in front of me.
And Jesus was there for it all. He saw every hair fall -- and since he knows how many hairs are on our head, he knows when those hairs aren’t there anymore -- and I wonder if maybe Jesus was crying, too.
You see -- this is what love looks like to me:
Love is a husband shaving the hair off his wife’s head. Love is holding the razor steady while watching her body rack with sobs. Love is clinging to her tightly afterwards and whispering, “You are beautiful, you are beautiful, you are beautiful.”
Love is a Groom taking the sins of his bride on his shoulders. Love is carrying her shame to Golgotha, all the way to Calvary. Love is nails hammered to bones, thorns thrusted to scalp, spear stabbed to side. Love is the Groom writhing in pain, bathed in blood, so the bride can dance free.
But Love didn’t end when that last breath was taken. Love rose three days later, and because of that, the bride can say:
I am redeemed.
I am forgiven.
I am set free.
My mom’s hair was all there in the kitchen sink. Long tears streamed steadily down my cheeks as I hugged her closely. But I witnessed love that day.
I saw love.
Jesus holds me, holds her, holds you, and whispers: You are redeemed. You are forgiven. You are set free.
You are loved.
Did you hear that? Lean in closer.
Let those words wash over you, like a balm on your weary, weary soul.
The Groom is whispering to you – to his sweet, broken, beautiful bride.
You are loved.
Now, we can dance free.