As a child do you remember having a favourite teddy or doll or a cuddly toy that you loved? I had a few. There was only one that stuck out for me. I remember a cuddly ‘Tigger’ that I had. I suppose of all my cuddly toys, this was possibly the most memorable. It was quite small and I used my own money to buy it from the post office. I can’t even have been that small because I remember going to buy it myself. It was £4.99. I loved that Tigger. It was the only toy I went to sleep with, it was with me when I was poorly and he was always there for a cuddle.
When my Grandma got sick I let her borrow him. She seemed so glad that I had lent him to her. She would hold him to her cheek when I was nearby to show how grateful she was and I think it brought her comfort. I was a teenager by this point, but I still felt like Grandma appreciated Tigger. I suppose it reminded her that she was loved. As she got more sick my brother bought her her own Tigger. It was a Christmas one, with reindeer ears. She gratefully received it and I was grateful to get my Tigger back! Again, she held this Tigger to her cheek and made us feel like she loved it. Really she loved the fact that my brother wanted to buy her something that would bring comfort to her in her darkest hours. When she died my brother kept the Tigger and I still have my Tigger at home with my girls.
Those Tiggers have been at many cheeks. They have been held and cuddled and squashed to our cheeks in hard times gone. There is something about holding something that close. There is nothing more precious than a loved one at your cheek. A newborn baby, just minutes old, as you bring them close to you to kiss them. Watching children hug a sibling or a close friend cheek to cheek. A lover holds you in a warm embrace and you dance cheek to cheek. And how about God? How about Jesus, the wounded God at our cheek? That’s something you don’t always feel everyday, but you can: He’s there.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”- Psalm 34:18
When your heart is broken it is hard to feel anything but pain, but it is in those moments that our wounded God is close by. Not just standing across the room from us; not just reaching out to us; not just with a hand on our shoulder but cheek to cheek kind of close; the kind of close that not even air could come between; the dancing kind of close. His wounds say, “Come into me. I’ve got you”.
In our times of brokenness there have been moments where I have not felt God at all. I knew that Jesus had not gone anywhere, but I just couldn’t feel him. There have also, however, been moments where I have been swept away by God, I have danced with God and been held cheek to cheek. Those moments are the most precious of my life.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted”, says the Psalms.
And He is.
His wounds have made such a way that we are able to encounter Him in this intimacy. He is the very air that we breathe and that air fuses our cheeks to His as He holds and comforts us. I needed to feel Him like that. And He knew.
You may find it strange that I am talking of God in such an intimate way, but that’s how I see it. He is the lover of my soul. He is mine and I am His (Song of Solomon 2:16).
If your heart is broken: He is close by.
If you need to be held: rest in His embrace.
If you want to dance: let Him sweep you off your feet.
So take your broken heart, your wounded, cracked and desperate heart and place it in the hands of Jesus. Imagine Him at your cheek and dance again to His whispers, to His melodies over you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J3h04W84cc
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted”. ‘Cheek to cheek’ kind of close.