I ‘m tired and worn by noon when I sit there beside him and he peels back the skin of his orange in the light.
He does this everyday after noon meal and he does it slow.
I feel slow and there are kids and lessons and laundry and everything else.
I’m trying to hold on.
The curve of the peel, it cleaves to the sweet, and it’s the skin of the thing that he holds in his hand.
There are things that cleave:
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. (Deu. 10:20)
You shall fear Him.
You shall serve Him.
You shall cleave to Him. Fear, serve, cleave.
The skins absorb the light and his hands fill with sun. I could fill.
That word “cleave,” it’s dabaq in Hebrew. Dabaq, the same word used to describe how a man cleaves to his wife so that the two become one. Cleave to Christ.
I watch the hands of the man I married, and I know their ways, the way of the man. These hands that hold me.
Dabaq is also tied to the Hebrew word debeq — meaning bodily joint. There are things that cleave: We’re called to cleave as as close to Him as the bones cleave to the skin (Job 19:20). Cleave to Christ.
There are things I peel it all back to: When one’s intimate with Christ, what can intimidate? And the way to be more obedient to Christ is to be more intimate with Christ.
He must have felt it, how I am watching his hands, because the Farmer looks up from the skins he’s holding, looks up at me watching him. I smile and he winks — reaches over with one hand and touches mine.
Living with a belief in God, this is very far from living with God as your Beloved.
We warm in this noon light like sun-baked stones and his hand lingers in mine. The other hand weighed by his orange, like this rock from the sun.
That is how it is: This space is an ocean of grace and Christ is the Rock and the weight of His love plunges us deep — deeper and deeper into God.
I rest my hand in his and they’re right there on his plate, all the skins, all the ways I could slip out of mine and be found in His.
And in the light, you can see it — how it’s there on each peel —
how the flesh of the orange clings right to the skin.
“The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the souls of the redeemed men and women is the throbbing heart of the New Testament.”
~A. W. Tozer
“Seek every day to have closer communion with Him who is your Friend…
True Christianity is not merely believing a certain set of dry abstract propositions: it is to live in daily personal communication with an actual living person – Jesus Christ.
‘To me’, said Paul, ‘to live is Christ.’ ” (Phil 1:21).
~ J.C. Ryle
Related: The Year of Koinonia