Surely He Loves Me!

I was organizing the pictures on my computer yesterday, and ran across one that I had forgotten was even taken.

Surely he loves me.

The picture captures a girl who stands awkwardly, aware that her picture is being taken, and unable to quit grinning. I know what she is thinking.

He loves me! He loves me!

Her arms are shiny with water, her clothes (although too dark to show much in the picture) are waterlogged, entirely saturated from the downpouring rain.

I know what she wrote that night, how it spilled out in fragmented thoughts in ink onto paper, unable to capture the painful pleasure that had caught her and carried her that night.

The next picture in the album makes it even more evident. Blue eyes shout shining joy through star-clumped lashes and her smile leaves no doubt. A rainbow of glass beads and a fine silver chain stand out against her black shirt and everything takes up the reverberating cry of JOY.

I know how the lightning arced across the sky, how the thunder split eardrums and cracked with a mighty roar, how the campus lit up and the rain pounded down and the dirt washed across sidewalks. How people left their work to come outside and see, standing and talking and reveling at this unexpected, unasked for surprise. How they stood in the new spring grass in the dark night broken by sudden light from the storm that washed over them.

After a while she was wet, so wet that there was no point in trying to remain dry. She had gone to get a scone and some kind of coffee, and was totally drenched before she could run the short distance back to her dorm, and then rain didn't matter any more and she stood in it, eating the scone before it soaked into sogginess, and burning her tongue on the hot caffeine, and rejoicing.

And then she ran back through, feet dancing and skipping and splashing through deep puddles, laughing with a freedom close to tears, and aching with joy.

I know these things, of course, only because it was me.

Another morning I woke up with Jars of Clay's Love of a Jealous Kind stuck in my head and could not stop smiling, not through all the walk in the sunshine to church, not through the church service.

I built another temple to a stranger
I gave away my heart to the rushing wind
I set my course to run right into danger
Sought the company of fools instead of friends

You know I've been unfaithful
Lovers in lines
While you're turning over tables with the rage of a jealous kind
I chose the gallows to the aisle
Thought that love would never find
Hanging ropes will never keep you
And your love of a jealous kind
Love of a jealous kind

Trying to jump away from rock that keeps on spreading
For solace in the shift of the sinking sand
I'd rather feel the pain all too familiar
Than to be broken by a lover I don't understand
'Cause I don't understand

One hundred other lovers, more, one hundred other altars
If I should slow my pace and finally subject me to grace
And love that shames the wise, betrays the heart's deceit and lies
And breaks the back of foolish pride

I don't rejoice in my unfaithfulness but I do joy in knowing that His love is of a jealous kind, that He'll live and fight and die for me.


For your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called.
[Isaiah 54:5]

He is my Husband-Brother, and I know nothing more beautiful. And I wrote to Him that afternoon, praying, Hold my heart. Keep it safe, wrapped securely with the unbreakable wires and cords of your love.

And He laughed. That's what brothers do. That's what I do. I died for you, after all. Learn to be beautiful and strong and wise.

So I asked Him what I was afraid of, a little afraid, although the fear seemed like a thin shadow on that afternoon when I wrote, in a quiet sunshine lit room. What if there is never a man who I can trust after you? Someone who can hold my heart safely?

Shh, silly girl. I'm training him too. It takes time. Pray for him. He's going through darkness and fire to be my servant and brother, and one worthy of you.

And I relaxed in His hands, soaking up the peace and the promise that He's near, always and forever.

It is a good thing to be daughter of the King.

It is a good thing to be the little sister of Jesus.

...I can feel His pleasure... [Chariots of Fire]


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