She could see the distance in His eyes and it killed her. There was something calling Him away and His focus was on His good-bye’s and His final instructions for everybody. He met with people in secret rooms, on lonely walks, and on quiet dawn beaches. He was so different that it made Him unrecognizable. …until you looked Him in the eyes.
Part of Him was still there, but it was growing fainter and fainter. Her heart was breaking and it made her desperate. She held her breath to hide the sobs in her belly, squeezed her eyes to fight the sting. She knew she couldn’t make Him stay.
“I want to go with you.” She needed His eyes.
“You can’t. Not yet.” (John 13:33)
She sobbed. She knew He loved Her, He was looking at her now.
“I’m not leaving YOU, I’m leaving this MOMENT. I’m leaving this timeline of temporary.” (Hebrews 13:5)
He has talked like that the whole time she’s known Him. His thoughts would always go somewhere far away and He’d get this resolve and strength from some unreachable depth. It was His mystery. It was what drew people to Him.
She never knew where He went when His eyes looked beyond and His words became riddles. The group of us would hang on His stories and try with everything in us to understand. But it was so far beyond…we couldn’t reach it. (John 16:12)
He made us ache. He made us believe in this eternal ‘Something More”. He was moving further and further ‘beyond’ and she was clinging to His robe (Mark 5:28). She was pouring her perfume on Him (Matthew 26:7). Sobbing at His feet, she washed Him with her tears. Unable to look up, she dried His feet with her hair (Luke 7:38).
He was the only one who stood up for her. The only one would walk through the streets with her. He held her together when she was falling apart. He made the clenched fist of condemnation drop their stones (John 8:7). What would she do without Him? How was she going to survive this temporary without Him there with her?
Almost as though He could read her mind, He said, “It’s better for you if I go. The way things are right now, I can’t be with you every second. If I go, you can carry me inside you. Though you won’t see me, you’ll feel me closer than you do now. The distance that you feel when you look at me will be put inside you, ..like a promise, …like a down payment. I’ll make you one with the distance, but it will no longer be distance. It will be expanse. It will be freedom. I’ll spread out in your heart so that you know I’m there. I’ll dance with your spirit so you can feel your heart skip with our music. When you interact with others, I’ll look back at you through their eyes. If I go, I’ll be everywhere. No longer bound by the stretch of flesh, I’ll fill the expanse and everywhere you look, you’ll be able to find me.” (John 16:7)
He made sure she was listening.
“I’m going away, but I’ll come back. I’ll get you out of here, but I have to prepare a place for you. I’ll make it perfect.” (John 14:3)
He paused to let her receive what He was really saying.
‘How long?” Would He come back tomorrow? Next week? A few years?
“I don’t know. The date is set, but I don’t know what it is (Matthew 24:36). My Father knows that I would probably tell you if I did, and for His reasons… you can’t know.”
Out of all the things He didn’t have an answer for….
“He doesn’t want you sitting by your window because you’re afraid that you’ll miss me. …You’re not going to miss me. You’re the reason I’m coming back.”
Her mind was fighting the peace His words created. He was making her feel okay with Him leaving and she didn’t want to give in. As though her refusal would make Him stay longer, just to talk her into it.
“There are others coming. There are more people who need to know who I AM.”
He paused, almost pained. “Do you love me?”
His words separated her flesh from her bones like a double edged sword.
“You know I love you.”
He made her look at Him. “Will you tell them about me?” (John 21:15)
It’s the work He started. He wanted the people who loved Him to continue it.
“Tell them I love them.” (John 13:34)
It’s their way to be together. It’s her way to honor what they have. He can’t be seen anymore…He went into the calling beyond, but He’s still here. He’s here in her, in you, and in them. When we talk about His love, we can almost smell Him again.
There’s a theory that a married man and woman start to look like each other over the course of the years. Maybe it’s because they’re so in love. Their eyes are filled up on the other so when the rest of the world looks at them, they see who they love. She blushes and smiles to herself. She has it figured out. He can’t be seen, but she can. Representing what they have together, it’s when she is loving the others that she looks the most like Him.