We wait on love like birds wait on the dawn. We usher this messiah into our lives in dance as we welcome the promise of dreams that love will weave into our reality. We hope that love has come to liberate us from earthly foes and our rapturous celebration is a mark of love’s indentation but all festivities come to an end. The music fades, the entertainers pack up and love knows what comes next.
We danced with intention not for what love is here to accomplish; we dance for the plans we have for love. We hand love our Santa list. Love did not come to dispel all our fears and compel the ones we yearn for, to commit to us. For love is not moved by futile whims. Love only dances to the tune of what love comes to accomplish. We do not move love, but love moves us and shapes us. William Shakespeare said it well, “Love does not alter when it alteration finds.” Love enters a door that is freely opened and where love resides there is no room for hate. Love permeates like sweet perfume invading and infusing the willing soul with love’s agenda. Love comes for the many not only for the one. And so like Mother Theresa, “I want to love Christ like He has never been loved before.” I used to wait to be loved but now I wait for the daily set-ups by Love to love. I do not know what life Love will conform out of my daily offerings but I know I will live every day for Love and to love. But I must admit I was not always this way. Love has moved me, changed me, shaped me.
A dream is a wishful whisper of the heart, I should know for I have been a faithful listener to it’s pulsing preaching. So I waited, believing in the visions of the night, having faith that one fine day fantasy would become reality. On that day, my joy would expel the phantoms that clung to my fears and wash away the dark groping of waiting. I would then be ushered into the light of savoring the now, the here and I would find delight in today. I would finally live in the moment and not waste years waiting for a moment. I would then stand on the greener grass, carpeted beneath my feet all gentleness and I would finally know the strength of the long awaited embrace enfolding me into the fold where every hurt would finally be healed. And so I waited!
“Do not awaken love until it so desires” King Solomon’s words sound a warning that comes too late. What if love’s flame needs no hand to light it? What if love is already awake when the first hands catch you, folding you into a World where the first catch of breathe ignites a longing. I often wonder what these new humans in the crib, wrapped in humanity smile to as they sleep. What have they seen? What do they know, these needy, suckling strangers? How is it, according to Psychology, that what they receive or fail to attain will shape not only their expectations but also their dreams. Is this longing in the human feminine heart born of lack or is it formed by satiated hunger? Why does the red plume of a rose bud declare I am loved? Why does the heady sensation of gleaming eyes, strong arms, candlelight, crooning duets and slow dancing, flutter her heart? What is this Romance? Who is this charming prince? Where have all the cowboys gone? And so I wait.
Here, there are no cowboys only roaming pastoralists with clubs and spears. There is no lone rangers, chewing on a blade of grass, wearing jeans and riding on a tamed stallion. Here, there is no charming prince dressed in tights with soft hands and a sword. No. Here, the only royalty that once was were chiefly chiefs seating on goat-skinned thrones but they too are but a memory. If my grandfather walked into his home with roses in his hands my grandmother would have thought him mad or cursed. A greater gift would have been for him to walk into the home with something that would feed her children. Romance was unknown to my grandmother, love was not a word that was uttered but a deed that was poured out daily. Yes, her heart ached and it broke too often but she still gave of herself, she still served. She mourned as my grandfather nursed his brokenness with drink for he had returned from the Second World War with severed fingers and tormented dreams. The book of proverbs explains that a hope deferred makes the heart grow sick’, my grandfather was a sick man. He was not welcomed as a hero of war, neither was he seen to be an equal by the colonial powers. He went to war a man but returned a ghost, a shadow of a man. But I do not remember my grandmother ever feeling sorry for her self. She tilled the land and fed her children; she tilled her heart and loved even the unlovable. And maybe because she waited for no hero, she became our hero. She became the wind that filled out hearts and enabled her family to sail past deadly storms. And so I wait.
The women in my life have not known the happy ever after scenarios but they are ever happy! They were not carried to a castle far away for we do not have castles here. Here, you cannot dance in glass slippers because our rhythm is not a waltz but a frenzied stomping. Here, a girl who sleeps waiting for a man to kiss her into life, would be scorned, Sleeping Beauty is just lazy! Don’t even need to mention Snow white for where I live anyone who is white as snow is a ghost! Here, we, the daughters of powerful women allowed our hearts to be robbed. Robbed by tales that were not manufactured for good. God have mercy on the fallen soldiers that have attempted to rescue the damsel for she is often not in distress, instead she is the distress. Our brother was never made to complete us and in his attempt to do so he emptied himself of life. Her story is not one of waiting. Her heart was formed to save lives; she is the heart of life’s tale. Woman must no longer read, ‘once upon a time’; she must read, ‘In the beginning God’. There is purpose and plan in a formation. She lives in an unfolding tale with no fairies but there is a plan for her; she serves an eternal purpose. There is no living happily ever after for eternity trumps ever afters.
And He said, “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make him a help mate”. And so I wait, no longer for cowboys or pastoralists. I do not wait for charming princes or chiefly chiefs. I do not wait to be held but to hold. I know a rose will dry up, romance will dwindle and rescue is for the distressed damsel not me. A heart that seeks to love in service and in pouring out of ones all, that is a greater calling then to be a Lady in Waiting. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Telenovela’s Maria and all other cheerleaders of the woman in wait of a hero, be gone fowl spirits for “Beauty is fleeting but the Woman who loves the Lord, she is to be praised”.