Biking through striking blue-green karst mountains, I breathed in the sweet smell of orange blossoms and wet soil, the sun embracing my back as I pedaled. "Trees laden with ripe fruit. Straw hats and baskets. SUNSHINE. Smells of spring, breeze of fall." I've been learning to live fully present and glimpse God in every moment and it mostly comes out like thankfulness. The appropriate response to seeing God is awe and thanks. We pulled up to a lot where we would board a boat to take us across the river. Just dismounting our metal steeds, a grey-haired woman, bent from many years of farm work, hobbled to us with fruit to sell. Enveloped in the moment with Holy Spirit, I felt to ask if she had pain in her knees. Yes. Could we pray for her? Yes. I laid my hands on her knobby knees and simply said, "Pain go, in Jesus' name." She grinned a two-toothed smile and began to test out her knees. Suddenly, like the dinner bell had been rung, fruit-vending women rushed to feast on what God was giving. Patting backs, pointing to shoulders, exposing sore joints: where was God in this moment? Healing his girls. A woman with shoulder pain- instantly healed. Back pain? No problem. The sweet mountain-backed woman who first approached said her right wrist was numb. Sitting on the pavement, she held her weathered, worked hand to me.
I've seen Jesus a lot in my life, mostly his eyes. One of my regular prayers is that I would see him in flesh in front of me; drink in his face, inhale his fragrance, touch the skin of the man I love. In the eyes of the husband I cherish, in the smile of the beggar on my street, I've seen him. How many times have I passed him on the street, eager to wish the present moment away, unable to see because of my own ungratefulness for every new breath and every second of life? Too many times. Every moment is pregnant with kisses from a beautiful God, and it is my journey of wonder that leads me to never let one miss my lips.
I took her hand and looked deep into her life-filled eyes, smiling as close to ear-to-ear as I could. I knew then that it was one of those moments where Jesus inhabits my eyes for someone else. She broke out in laughter and held gaze with me. Jesus healed her in that moment and wrists felt touch, hearts were filled. We spoke of their healer, told them about his love in our broken understanding of their language. They could feel it and faith nodded their heads to agree as we held them and repeated, "Yesu ai ni." Jesus loves you.
How is the maker of Heaven and Earth kissing his world today? I'm gonna find him. Daily.