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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Kiss of the King

A gentle kiss from a loved one is a beautiful thing. It is a sweet expression of endearment, a symbol of one person’s affection for another. The moviegoer in all of us is always thrilled when the long-awaited moment arrives, when two hearts finally come together through the tender expression of a kiss.

Not so long ago, I read about a couple who shared a very special kiss. The story comes from an excerpt out of Brennan Manning’s book entitled, “Ragamuffin Gospel.” In it, he describes a rather solemn scene between a surgical physician and a young couple.

The book reads,

“I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her face postoperative, her mouth twisted in palsy, somewhat clownish. A tiny twig of the facial nerve, the one to the muscles of her mouth, had been severed. She will be this way from now on.

I had followed with religious fervor the curve of her flesh; nevertheless, to remove the tumor in her cheek, I had to cut the little nerve.

Her young husband is in the room. He stands on the opposite side of the bed and together they seem to dwell in the evening lamplight, isolated from me, the moment is a private one.

Who are they, I ask myself? He and this wry mouth I have made, who gaze at each other so generously, so lovingly. The young woman speaks.

''Will my mouth always be like this?' she asks.

"Yes, I say, it will. It is because the nerve was cut." She nods and is silent. But the young man smiles.

“I like it,” he says, “It’s kind of cute.”

All at once I know who he is. I understand and I lower my gaze. One is not bold in an encounter with a God moment. Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth and I am so close I can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate to hers, to show her that their kiss still works.”

Since reading this story, the image of the young husband contorting his mouth and twisting his lips for an intimate kiss with his palsied wife has gripped my heart.

I thought about how God symbolically did the very same thing for us, when He fashioned Himself in the form of flesh and became “man” through the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

What a love story. The God of the universe bent down from Heaven, leaned toward mankind, and expressed His love to a very disfigured people.

He contorted Himself (so to speak) in order to manifest His vast love to a fallen generation. “For God so loved the World, that he gave His only begotten Son.” John 3:16

How do we respond to such a beautiful expression of genuine love to a handicapped humanity? We respond by recognizing that we were created from the clay of the earth, by the hand of the Great Potter Himself.

In His foreknowledge, He knew that we would become marred; and afterward, we would be in need of His unconditional love.

What is our response?

We simply receive the gracious gift of love, and allow Him to mold and make us into His beautiful image. The following poem seems to sum it up very well:

Our Sovereign King is so pleased
When with gladness He sees
His likeness brought forth
By His kisses received

If you have never known the unconditional love of this King, He wants you to know that His desire has always been toward you and that even now, He longs for your response. Most importantly, He wants you to know that His kiss still works.

Don’t wait another moment. Come and receive the “Kiss” of the King.

Copyright © Missey Butler 2006, used with permission.

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