The space was alive in a way I had not even dared to recognize. Children were huddled beside the kiosk singing a worship song in Luganda. I joined them in song from where I sat waiting for my twin’s arrival. Children lay on the grass. Children were milling about deep in conversation. The Sunday School room was full of dancers, led by my favourite choreographer in this world. There was a remarkable depth of life present for a Monday.
A mere twenty-four hours had passed since my feet had last passed through here. I’d come home. Yet the dust of yesterday could no longer been seen and this day was all brand-new and mine for taking because of His love. Her beauty had stirred in me the very minute I laid eyes on her after the service on Sunday. Adrift in a wedding meeting I had no desire to be a part of, i had glanced across the room and found her before me. She ran off.
My eldest beauty stood close and greeted the treasure drawing near. A frame I now knew. A name I had yet to learn. The depths of me longed to hold her, but I honoured the fear that i incorrectly assumed was within her. My girl asked her if she’d like to be held. She timidly made her way to me. I lifted her onto my lap. A friend brought her a mango. She ate as I kissed her exquisite face and she never once batted one of her phenomenal eyelashes. This was a masterpiece of His.
Despite my obvious adoration of every child who exists on earth, the children at our church do not know me. Some may know my name but I do not know theirs. The interaction between R and i immediately felt divine. There she stayed until it was time for our practice to begin. Joanie had told me that she understood no Lusoga, English or Luganda so I was unsure how we would communicate. In Luganda i told her to come and follow me in case she needed assurance to enter the room and stay with me. She came straight to me and I placed her back in my lap. After some time I sensed she was in need of rest, so I asked her in Lusoga if she was tired. To my delight she understood and replied in Lusoga for me. I told her in Lusoga to sleep and she collapsed back beneath my arms. She laid one of her hands behind my back and the other on my chest. Her sweat-drenched body feeling like the sweetest weight I have ever had the privilege of bearing. Waking up only to bring her legs closer and closer under her body to be closer to me. Relief was hers when I held the victory as I finally just picked up her legs and placed them upon mine. She was now sleeping like a dormouse, to the great amusement of the one loving her who also sleeps in exactly the same position.
”Sanyuka”, our voices burst out. My heart was already bursting its banks before that word ever appeared outside of my breath. Laughter broke out across the room as we proclaimed it. I had no memory of that word within me and so later I asked my husband its meaning. He revealed it is simply an exhortation to ”be happy!”. Every inch of me was unadulterated joy. Love. There is no greater thing.
I had it all wrong. Again. I was called to love the one before me. The one beside me. As the One within me had first loved me.
This was Advent. Love come closer.