Remember times on the playground when you waited on tiptoes to be chosen for a team? Since I‘ve always been a bit sports-challenged, I was generally one of the left-overs. I don’t remember being particularly upset about it. It was just the way it was. Other memories of being chosen for a desired job, or a scholarship, or a nice dinner out or other special occasion, bring a smile to my face, because I cared very much.
.I have never been chosen by anyone as a life partner, though – a husband. (Wow! Did I just write that for all to see?) I wanted to choose someone a number of years ago thinking we were on the same page – but he didn’t choose back. Ouch! That crippled my soul for a long time as I fell into the trap of “What’s wrong with me?” It took years for God to rescue me out of that “slimy pit,” “to set my feet on a rock,” and “put a new song in my mouth.” (Psalms 40:1-3)
Webster says of the word “cherish:” deeply loved and valued; to treat with tenderness and affection; to nurture with care; to protect; to hold dear. That raises a couple massive questions.
“Who do I get to cherish?” and “Who cherishes ME?”
Being cherished, in my single experience, is spending time with another in deep conversation which speaks soul to soul. It includes things like soft touches on the arm or shoulder as you walk by someone in a group of people. It includes hugs and friendly hand holds and warm eyes. It includes someone you love saying your name in a caring manner.
It also includes limits when the other person is married. “Emotional mistress” is never a term I want to apply to myself!
In 2001, one of my brothers was very ill with liver failure. Our every-third-year family reunion was in June, and we all gathered at another brother’s home in Iowa. Dear Wally and my sis-in-law drove from Florida, and even though he ended up in a couple of hospitals on the way, his smiling face is etched in my mind as he helped spread joy and laughter at being together. Even though hugging and calling each other endearing names was not something my family particularly did as I was growing up, that reunion was full of both.
In July, 2001, I traveled to China as accompanist for a community chorale, singing the Mozart Requiem and a number of American songs for very responsive and friendly audiences in Beijing, Suzhou, and Shanghai. When I returned home, one of my first calls was to my brother who was in a Florida hospital waiting for a liver transplant. I told Wally I loved him, and his instant words, “Thank you, sweetheart,” are as clear in my mind now as they were then. Those words are a cherished and much treasured memory for the rest of my life as I imagine his smile in heaven now..
Of course, since my focus here in this blog is as a Christian single, I choose to go to Scripture to know the ultimate answer of Who cherishes and chooses me.
- * God chose us before the foundation of the earth to bless and glorify His name. (Ephesians 1:4)
- * God lets His chosen ones live with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [cherishing] for one another. (Colossians 3:12)
- * God equips His chosen ones to work in faith, labor in love, and stand firm in hope. (I Thessalonians 1:3)
- * The clearest earthly expression of choosing and cherishing is meant to be in marriage.
- * Marriage is meant to reflect Jesus’ future relationship with His chosen, the Church. (Ephesians 5:25-33)
- * God’s love is everlasting and His choice is unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)
I confess, however, that sometimes the ultimate answer doesn’t quite seem to satisfy the “I want someone with skin on” itch. How about you? .