Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Kiss

“…Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised…” (Isaiah 53:3, NIV 1984).

In his book Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery, Dr. Richard Selzer describes the first encounter of a young husband with his new bride after Dr. Selzer removed a tumor from her parotid, severing her facial nerve in the process:

“The young woman speaks, ‘Will my mouth always be like this?’
‘Yes,’ I say. ‘It will. It is because the nerve was cut.’
She nods and is silent.
But then the young man smiles. ‘I like it,’ he says, ‘It is kind of cute.’

All at once I know who he is. I understand and lower my gaze. One is not bold in an encounter with a god. Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth and I am so close that I can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate to hers, to show her that their kiss still works.”

Most of us are keenly aware of the scars and the distortions in our lives that we have brought upon ourselves through our nature to sin. We are not what God, nor we, had intended we should be. In our moments of clarity, when we are aware of our true nature, it is easy to look at our sin and realize how hopelessly we are separated from the perfect truth, beauty, justice and love of our Creator---we know we deserve that separation.
Yet Easter has come.
When we understand who we truly are, our cry rings out, “Does the kiss still work?”
And then comes the cross, and then comes Easter.

“Does the kiss still work?”
On the cross, God leans over and contorts himself into my twisted shape. With Easter, God answers with a “Yes!” that is too good to be true.

Dear God,
Thank you for your “Yes!”

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