Smile

Arms wide open, allowing all she holds to fall to the ground. She falls backwards, eyes closed, arms stretched out; it is up to Him to save her, and she believes He will. Her descent begins, and she wonders if she might hit the ground before she is saved. As she ponders this, strong arms wrap around her limp, falling body, and she feels the softness of the wings that caress her cheek. She opens her eyes.

There He is. He smiles at her with the most genuine smile she has ever seen in her life. He takes her back up to their meeting place. The jewels He had given her were among the things she dropped before she took her leap of faith. He had placed them in a pouch, and He placed it around her neck. He has caught the things worth catching. She looks about and sees that there were tiny boxes that had been scattered about. The temptation is there to pick them up again, and her hands would be too full to accept what He wants to give her. Her hand twitches, and she squeezes her eyes shut. He placed an arm around her. She turns, and He smiles again. She will be fighting the temptation for the rest of her life to protect herself and survive, but He reminds her that the things she needs, He will provide. He has heard her cries, seen her oppression, and He wishes for nothing more than to release her and let her live through Him.

A shackle reaches from behind and clasps around her ankle. Behind her is an ominous cloud of fire and darkness. A figure looms within, hoping to seduce her and make her pull away from the Man who wants to protect her and who is the only one that can.

The arm around her shoulder is comforting. He tightens His grip as, for the first time ever, she sees it clearly: He’s holding onto her to keep her with Him not only for her sake in her physical and emotional well-being, but also because He wants her to stay with Him. A pained expression etches across His face as He closes His eyes and braces Himself for the possibility of losing her again and the crumbling of His heart that would come soon after. A stray tear falls down His cheek.

How much has He been hurting? How much has she been hurting Him? Yet His heart still beats, and He still pursues after her with all His strength and passion. His grip on her loosens as He braces Himself for her decision. She grabs His hand again and squeezes it for strength.

“This is our special meeting place, and you’re not welcome here!” she screams at the top of her lungs as she turns around to meet the shadow. She locks her gaze on it and glares, but she has no strength apart from her Savior. He turns around, a surprised but relieved look resting on His face. His gaze fixes on the shadow as well. The shackle released its hold on her ankle, and the shadow shrinks. The fire doesn’t burn as big or as brightly as it had just seconds ago. At the authority of the Son, his strength crumbles. She knows he will come after her at her lowest and most desperate moment, however, and she must be ready to face him. She must hold onto her Father’s hand as tightly as she is now.

As she watches the shadow fall to his knees, she realized that both her hands were tightly grasping the hand of her Jesus. Embarrassed, she began to loosen her grip and return His hand to Him. In an instant, He grabs her wrist and pulls her into Him. He hugs her tightly, thankful that she chose to stay with Him.

She realized at that moment as she sank into His hug that she wanted Him to always have this expression. She never wanted to see the pained expression she saw earlier.

What can she do, though? How can she make sure He’s always smiling? She thinks back to all the things she had wanted to be. Why did she want those things? To feel like she’s doing the right thing, so that He wouldn’t condemn her; yet when no one was looking, what did she do? These were not the right reasons to do those things. The fear of rejection from others, condemnation from Him – she was so wrong. She had been looking at Him with the wrong eyes. Before her is a Man who chose to die for her – the one He loved. The hand that fights the enemy and strikes him down is the hand that also wipes her tears away. The eyes that glared at their opponent and hold all authority are the ones that look lovingly upon her and see only her. His body was broken for her. His ears heard the ridicule meant for her as well as the cries of her very soul.

This man is to be loved. She should not be scared of Him. This should not cause her to “do” things and live a life of survival.

She wants Him to continue smiling at her like this. She wants Him to always be smiling.

Because she loves Him.

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