French Ink on Skin
His muscular hands have always been beautiful to me.
In my first year of college, we were just getting to know each other, and learning to trust. Love was a fledgling word, afraid to be voiced aloud. It shimmered instead through our eyes, wonderingly. We determined that once said, it should mean commitment –not a word to be bantered with.
So the word grew inside.
We conversed for hours, a group of us on the third floor student center. People wandered away, left for their dorm rooms, and still he and I talked.
My third culture kid heart still dreamt in French, missed the Alps, and reminisced about West African food. He was from Duluth – with stories of blizzard snowstorms hiding cars for three days, and frost capable of freezing your eyelashes shut.
We spoke of futures, wondering if they would meld, and I sketched French phrases on his hand. “Suis-je la tienne? Es-tu le mien?” (Am I yours? Are you mine?) French ink asking the questions I wondered. Could someone really love and commit to someone else for life? Was it safe to trust and hope?
These penned phrases came to mind again recently when I read some verses in Isaiah.
One will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’… still another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s.’
Later, God vows, …I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. Study notes say that the word “engraved” here means “carved into.” The Creator has carved our names onto his hands.
The rolled parchment of Isaiah was written in the 700s BC. Jump ahead three hundred years later to a carpenter with strong, calloused hands striding along cobbled Roman roads. In a room crowded with people and a table spread with Middle Eastern fare, he laid his hands wide. “See the carvings in my hand?” he asked. Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.
I belong to Him. It’s written on my hand, and carved into His.
And the college man? He types here beside me, and together we learn daily how to love each other like our Creator loves us.
What about you? What helps you remember whose you are? What have you been reading or pondering lately?