His eyes dance to the beat of the wind that rushes through his hair in periodic gusts, which keep time to his footsteps coming toward me. He’s like a song wrapped up in a man, making every element and created thing in his wake become more beautiful. No—not more beautiful. Rather, his presence awakens them to their authored potential so they can become the beauty they have always been. I have heard the same is true for me, yet doubt tugs at my heart even in his approach.
How can I possibly be loved by one so true, one so pure? The one thing I do know is that dirt streaks my face and fear claws at my mind, threatening to plunge it into darkness once and for all. For I have lost my way. I don’t know where I am anymore except that something keeps tossing me from side to side so that my feet can’t find a steady hold. And I am cold. So cold. But today, I see him walking toward me, and it arouses something that seems to be long forgotten inside—something I once knew. Or at least was a nice idea at one point in my life.
His eyes are deep and seem to reflect everything around them, and when they settle on me I feel as if he has dug up my past and my most fatal wounds and brought them to the surface of his face, which I now see is scarred like mine. It is not judgment I see in the wrinkles on his brow, but compassion. His lips curve into a smile without his eyes changing and the look tells me that he not only knows but he identifies with every thought I’ve had—even the secret ones too frightening to share with anyone. Like he has fought the battles I was too weak to even begin. Like he was there every time, had lived it all just as I.
Could this be true?
The force I am accustomed to pummels my body from the right side, and I stagger. I look down at my stumbling feet for a moment and see the wooden planks under them. I begin to cry as it dawns on me where I am, then I look up. The man is there, but he’s so far. Waves rage as if in contest with the wind, and deep gray storm clouds converge like they’re about to compress me in between my boat and their ominousity. But when I look out again I can actually see the man’s eyes, and he’s not as far as I thought when I got hit by that gust of wind. His eyes perfectly reflect the storm. The violent colors and clashing elements create a beautiful picture inside the glassy orbs. They make the storm around us echo peace, and the contrast steals my breath.
I don’t know how long I’ve been in this boat. It’s as if I become aware at intervals of my existence that it encapsulates me, but mostly I just feel the waves, the darkness, and the wind, and forget why they rise against me. I look once more, now standing to my feet in defiance of the storm, and see his hand stretching out, palm up. I blink away gathered tears and glance from his hand to his eyes, and back. Then, with my own eyes I gauge the watery distance between me and him, and I feel my chest begin to groan in defeat.
But without words his presence calls to me, and I look up yet again. He hasn’t budged. He hasn’t given up. In fact, he’s smiling. I watch the wind slap long strips of his hair against that scarred face, then I close my eyes.
“Yes,” I whisper to myself. “His beauty is greater than my opposition.”
Determined now, I begin slowly to lift my eyelids but gasp and flinch as skin comes in contact with my cheek. What feels like a finger swipes the tear and dirt mixture caked on that side, and I crumple against a strong breast without opening my eyes.
“Trust,” the man says against the hair covering my ear. His voice reverberates through my chest like a single beat of a low drum so that I feel it over and over again. I inhale and open my eyes at last, careful not to take them off of him. He laughs and spins me out in cadence with his incarnate joy, and I catch my breath when I see that we are dancing atop waves.