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His Tender Gaze

His Tender Gaze

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I could feel the wood between my fingers, before I had the courage to meet your gaze. I saw you from afar and knew you were carrying the cross that I had made out of my shortcomings. It was ugly and dark and I couldn’t bear to watch you do it alone. I came to help you, to console you in the suffering, and could feel the immensity fall on my shoulders. The heaviness and sorrow was too much to cope with, too much to handle. You were speaking my name without any words. I could feel your gaze begging me to meet your own. Inviting me into your warmth and freedom. It rushed over me quickly and eventually I pulled my eyes away from my feet and the dirt beneath me. The weight left my shoulders immediately. Warmth rushed into parts of my heart I didn’t know were aching from loneliness, pain, and isolation. Healing filled me to the brim, and I could feel a rush of peace overtake the bitterness, self-pity, and anger that had become pillars within me. We walked with great ease, and as you looked at me, I looked back. “I thirst for you.” I heard you whisper. And I knew I thirsted back. A parched layer within my soul that always felt dry and without. It was filling to the brim with new life, filling with freedom.

You held your heart out to me. I could hardly look upon it, its brightness overcame me. It burned to be near it. I clutched my own chest, knowing my heart was nothing bright to give you in return. But I wanted to give you what I could. There within my own heart, embers were forming, igniting, sparking, overflowing with the love I encountered in your gaze. Your look ravished my heart, it filled me with courage to begin again.

I looked upon the cross to see the darkness I had brought to you. All I saw was love. The cross was filled with pale pink azaleas, tiny baby’s breath. It overflowed with the transformative love you had for me. The cross had been a fear of mine, a terror to me that I had caused such pain to you whom I loved before I knew how. And there it was, transformed. You allowed the suffering to bloom with beauty, to burn with love, to grow new again. New life came forth within me. You made me new again, with one look of your eyes.

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