September 1, 2023
Today was a truly beautiful day in church. It was the 8 a.m. mass, and something extraordinary unfolded before my eyes. As I took my seat, a group of five people walked past me and took their seats in one of the front rows before me. Among them, there was a couple, and their love was simply undeniable. It was a love that filled the air with an indescribable warmth and radiance, a love that drew my attention irresistibly. Even the blind would see it.
Throughout the entire mass, they held hands and exchanged tender kisses, not the kind that warrants disapproving glares, but a special kind of affection that seemed to transcend the ordinary. It was as though they had their own private world, oblivious to everything else. I couldn’t help but wonder if they shared a telepathic connection because they appeared entirely absorbed in each other, touching foreheads and clasping hands as if they were one.
During the homily, I couldn’t resist stealing glances to see if they possessed some sort of shared hearing, for it was clear they weren’t paying the slightest attention to Father’s words. Much like me, they seemed lost in their own world of love. I found solace in the fact that I wasn’t the only one not listening to the homily; there were smiles and disapproving looks from fellow worshippers. I was all about the “awwwww….look at them! Can you see them? Oh, this is sweet!”
During the Peace of the Lord, I half-expected one of them to swallow the other like what I see in cartoons because that was the remaining thing to show that indeed, they were one. Their love was palpable, and their kisses were as frequent as heartbeats. They never let go of each other’s hands, not even for a moment. I found it incredibly thrilling.
Then came the moment of Holy Communion, and they didn’t follow the single-file line like the rest of us. Side by side, hands joined, they approached the priest. I couldn’t help but chuckle inwardly, wondering if they would kneel together. To my delight, they did. It was as if they had rehearsed it, kneeling in perfect unison. The elderly priest is perhaps accustomed to such display because he just moved his hand from the husband’s head to the wife’s, blessing them both simultaneously. So surreal!
It was a remarkable sight, and it made me realise the profound lesson hidden within this couple’s love story.
As they turned to return to their seat, I saw a girl who looked so much like the husband of the wife who dotted on themselves like I would do to a good chocolate cake, receive communion and then I couldn’t help but notice the older couple behind her. Those ones too, their hands were firmly clasped together. Ahan! This must be a family train. They were. Earlier, I had only noticed the younger couple, but now I saw the older couple too. In unison, they knelt hand-in-hand, I wondered how they would get up without tripping, somehow, I mentally pictured them tripping on the floor and falling Father flat on the floor and there goes all our Lord scattered like confetti. Then I quickly rebuked the thought.
But trust my mind, it went all out till I gasped for breath.
In that moment, I was overwhelmed by the boundless love of God. How He dotes on us, holding our hands through life’s journey. How He kneels with us when we stumble, lifting us up with His boundless love. How He embraces us and showers us with His affection each time we pray. He wipes away our tears with His warm embrace whenever we succumb to despair. He reassures us, saying, “I am here, my love—I haven’t moved.” He tirelessly pursues us, even when we push Him away.
Seeing this couple’s love reminded me of the intense love of God, a love far greater than any earthly affection. It is a love so vast, so pure, so endless, and so faithful. It is a love that never falters, a love that knows no bounds, a love that loves us despite our imperfections. It is a love that surpasses even a mother’s love, a lover’s love, a love that fights to rescue us from ourselves. A love that wipes away sins as though they never happened, a love that comforts us through grief no matter how great.
No wonder the Bible tells us in Isaiah 49:15 that even if a mother were to forget her child at her breast, God will never forget us.
I am filled with gratitude for witnessing this profound love today, a love I can never fully reciprocate. Oh, Jesus, I love You. All I have is Yours, Yours I am, Yours I want to be. Do with me whatever You will.
Please don’t listen to my stubborn hardened heart like that of Pharaoh o! Just listen to this heart that is soft like King David’s heart. I am grateful for your love that surrounds us all, uniquely and individually at all times without end. Love that choke! I am grateful for it. What are you grateful for?
With heartfelt gratitude and love,
For a previous post: The Hands of God (oluwatoyosiabikoye.com)