On the first day, I made friends with a little girl, about four years old. She was wearing nothing but underwear and holding her baby sister on her back. Our eyes met and I was blown away by the intensity of her gaze. So much longing and sadness in those little eyes. She smiled when I took her picture and stroked her chin. After a few minutes, she reached out her hand to run her brown fingers up my pink arm. She followed me around, holding on to my skirt. It was like she just wanted to be close to someone and to feel another person near her.
The girls here love playing with my hair. They are fascinated by its length, color, and texture. I am usually reluctant to let people play with my hair, but when one is surrounded by the warmth of a dozen small bodies pressing in close to your own, few things are sacred anymore. So I let out my ponytail and let their fingers run through my hair and I close my eyes and give thanks to God.
Every day this past week, I’ve read John 1. I can’t move past it. There is so much so much richness and encouragement to be found in meditating on Jesus becoming flesh and coming to live among us. This Word who was with God from the beginning of time, Who made all things, Who is infinitely powerful, infinitely holy, the Source and Sustainer of all life – This very Word of God that brings all Creation into being, came as a humble guest to our home. He took the form of a servant, he was born to look like us with all of our physical limitations, he suffered and he even died a painful human death (Philippians 2).
He did all of this that we might know God. He became flesh that we might see and might draw near and have a relationship with Him.
He let people touch Him – a woman with a lifelong disease, lepers, little children, everyone outcast and unclean. He said “Come to Me and I will give you rest.” He showed us that God cares for broken people and He is bringing hope out of despair. He showed us the image of the invisible God by coming to dwell among us.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Song from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Maybe, in drawing close to these people, holding their hands, stroking their cheeks, scooping them up when they fall down, and allowing them to come into my life, I can show them a little of who Jesus is– compassionate, faithful, tender mercy, strength. Perhaps the way He perfectly loves can overcome my imperfect attempts of loving. My prayer is that the light of Jesus — “the true light which enlightens everyone” – would fill me and spill out of me and leave lasting impact on the lives I encounter. I pray that they would know the Friend Who is always watching over them and never leaves or never forsakes them.
So, touch me, dirty little hands. Leave your little fingerprints on my heart. Let me hug you, come close to you and whisper in your ear – “take heart, dear one because Jesus loves you.”
Oh, how He loves you.