Everyone calls him Papa. To tell you the truth, I actually don't know his first name.
He has been blind for ten years due to a cataract surgery that didn't go according to plan. But Who is sovereign? He spends his days in rest. Watching his wife take care of him is like getting to see the wind blow back a veil that covers an ancient treasure. I hope, if God desires for me to be a wife, that I will serve my husband as joyfully and sacrificially as she serves him.
I was blessed to spend five days around him. Every day we would sit and be. Just be. I liked to hold Papa's hand and he liked to get a feel for the size of my fingers, wrists and arms. He seemed to love my thumbnails, and his hands functioned as his eyes to discover what my hair is like.
As of now, there are very few people in the world who, when I sit around them, make me feel like I am sitting around Jesus in the flesh. Papa is one of those people, and I told him so. This was especially true the other night. Let me set the stage for you:
My heart was weary that night, having exited the honeymoon stage of this journey earlier that day. I felt pierced by the bumps in every road and the HEAT and the way every honk of a horn got under my skin. I couldn't stand the worship of nothing and the pride of the spiritually dead and the lust I see in the eyes of so many men here, whether or not I look at them directly. I was paralyzed by the fear of losing relationships that are precious to me because it happened last time I lived in this blessed country. The persistence of the ones who beg boiled me like a pressure cooker and cornered me into helplessness. The suppression of the beauty of these women made me want to scream. But most of all, I was terribly amazed at the massive darkness that so blinds and deceives these love-thirsty hearts into bowing down to something that doesn't even breathe.
And so I sat.
I sat on the ground next to Papa and reached up to take hold of his hand. He knew it was me. He rested my hand on his knee and held it with both of his hands. He felt every cuticle, just like he always does. He was getting a feel for the size of my small arms, again. He didn't know it then but he was comforting me. He kissed my hands more times than I could count and held my hand to his face, nearer to him.
I sat with him as I sit with Jesus: Sitting to sit and nothing more. Being. Getting loved. Healing, though I know not what from.
I was simply letting Him love me.
When no one was looking I kissed his feet. HIS feet. I could hear his (His!) soul sing a delighted sound as he immediately embraced me with a hug and rocked me back and forth in his arms. I remained on my knees on the ground. Covered. He kissed my head and hands incessantly, calling me his daughter, his doll. He said, "I am your Papa," with such delight in his voice and on his face.
All of the love that I've known to be real became visible and tangible to me in that moment. And now I see more: Jesus was kissing Papa's feet. Even more than that, I saw the love of the Father, Son and Spirit poured out from each to the other through us.
It was one of those times when I knew that "if" Jesus were sitting there in the flesh, He would have been doing the exact same thing. And so would I -- kissing His precious feet.