She came looking for him. It had been a while. She was tired and weary, dirty and dry.
“Where have you been my love, for you are weary and dirty, dry and frail?”
She looked up to catch his concerned and loving gaze.
“I went wandering.”
He looked down at her feet and asked her to sit.
“I will wash your feet, come tell me more.”
She took his hand and let him lead her in to the dwelling place.
Her mind was a mess of untamed emotion.
Her thoughts ran quickly. Worry like fire catching all around her.
“I love him so much but my heart is a wanderer, I will never be enough.”
Thoughts of regret and shame reacted adversely with the agonizing torture of his love.
Every patient, stroke of his hand as he washed her feet caused a tear to gently fall form her cheek.
It was quiet, the quiet was so hard and at one point she tried to pull away.
He calmly put one hand on her foot and the other on her heart to stop her flight.
“Where are you now?”
She stopped and looked at his intense gaze.
“I am here with you…”
Her words were stuck inside and although she wanted to speak she could not continue.
“Are you afraid of me?”
She quickly turned to him and adamantly spoke out.
“No I love you, I don’t want to disappoint or hurt you.”
He smiled a gentle smile. He took her hand and embraced her face.
“You misread my concern for condemnation.
Disappointment is the marriage of confusion and unrealistic expectations.
When you love someone you don’t love who they will be, or who they were….
You love who they are.
Love is not so superficial that it is bound by conditional expectations.”
She still carried the weight of regret for her wandering heart.
“But my heart wanders, I wander and I leave you.”
Again he met her gaze with kindness.
“Do I look as though I have missed you?
And don’t misread my words.
Your eyes were not looking for me but I was there all along.
Where can you go where my love is not with you?
You may wander but I am like the wind. I am with you always.
My love is not removed when you fail to follow.
The distance you feel, and the dryness of your soul,
It is you bracing for a death of my love that will never come.
If you are thirsty and weary it is not a death sentence nor is it a crime.
You will get thirsty, you will get dirty, you will get weary.
Instead of shame you should feel comfort in your weakness…
Knowing that your one true lover and provider is the remedy.
I am the living water but it doesn’t always rain,
Sometimes you must drink of me.
I am the rest for your soul but you must lay yourself down to receive it.
I know you wander. It is your soul seeking out life.
I am life and in me you will find what you seek.”
So much of a great weight had been lifted off but still she had more doubt.
“I hate the hunger, I hate the thirst, I hate the dirt, and the weariness.
Why can’t I just stay with you? If I never wandered I would never feel the emptiness”
He dried her feet, took her hand and helped her to her feet.
“I don’t ever want you to stop wandering, I love your adventurous and spirited heart.
Thankfully you will always need me.
Like tree near a stream of living water with roots planted deep.
Your branches will wander far and yet your roots will always be near the source.
You wander because you need to reach for something, you reach and grow and stretch.
I do not blame you for your needs.
I hurt because you do not recognize them as a part of who you are.
It is what you are that I love.
I love you, needs and all.
Does a gardener curse the seed he sows for needing water, sun and soil?
He gives it, he gives it so generously as to watch it grow.
He watches for the weeds that would choke it,
For the crow that would steal it,
For the rocks that would inhibit it.
You mistake my tending to your needs as punishment for a mistake you never made.
Just as your needs are not repulsive to me,
The weed, crow and rock are not your burden to carry or your blame to take.
Let me remove the obstacles so your wandering becomes purposeful and fruitful.
I do everything out of a compelling and overwhelming urge to love you.
I am not the cage, I am the door.
You confuse a shelter for a trap.
You confuse your needs for a foe and a foe as a friend.
I did not come to condemn but to give freedom to your steps and healing to your brokenness.
So I ask again…
Where are you now?”
Finally the veil had lifted and she could see him for the first time in all his loving kindness.
“I am with you... always... for you are with me.”