1. To hold or treat as dear; feel love for
2. To care for tenderly; nurture
3. To cling fondly or inveterately (deeply rooted) to
God is Love- 1 John 4
I am my beloved and my beloved is mine- Song of Solomon
We are his cherished, personal treasures.–Deuteronomy 14
Cherish your faith-Jude 1
Cherish the Word- Psalm 119
We are born in divine Providence; sacred, eternally cherished, tenderly loved.
At the end of last year, I set an intention for 2021: Ease. Hilarious that I should choose such a word in the midst of a global pandemic, but, trusting God as I do, I figured, why not? He constructed the universe.
Has it been easy? Hell no. But, did he faithfully protect, provide and guide me into a state of the full meaning of the word? It was brutal and I couldn’t be more grateful. As I’ve said, reluctant sadist. Lately, I can’t help but wonder, if I’d understood the concept of ego-death in like, second grade, could I have saved myself a couple of decades of running into brick walls? Ya know, just move from grade school right into a moss hut in the woods with some goats…
The intention taught me, over and over, the meaning of surrender; surrendering to his will, to my highest good for the highest good of all. It revealed who, what, when, where, why and how to let go of anything or anyone that required sacrificing ultimate faith in his strength, versus my own stubborn, fruitless forcing. And when I finally let go, listened, softened into his leading with all my heart, everything fell easily into place. I mean, my life’s been kind of a dumpster fire but it’s also amazing! Pretty much sums up the human experience.
Yesterday, it was my devotion, as if to seal the deal and confirm I’d graduated from the lesson. Can I get a witness?
So this year, after being gutted by a series of losses and revelations I’m still quietly processing, I thought I’d invite him to teach me the meaning of the word cherished. What’s it like to be tenderly nurtured, softly held and deeply cared for? How do we do that with and for ourselves and each other, especially during a time when the chasm between us seems to be growing wider with each new mandate. True love doesn’t require contracts, policies or procedures; it just is.
Last week I re-watched Order of the Phoenix. Dolores Umbridge is an absolutely brilliant character; sickly sweet and chronically simmering with sheer, fear-fueled hatred for everything and everyone she can’t control. Each time someone does something that threatens her sense of order or authority, she and Filch drag a ladder and nails to the stone wall to declare, yet another useless, targeted, insulting, demoralizing Order intended to repress the truth. That poor, terrified, miserable woman. Spoiler alert, all her bad karma comes back to bite her in the form a giant who throws her into a herd of righteously angry centaurs. I wonder if she’d have been different if someone had cherished her? Hmm…
Movie reviews aside, I’m cautiously optimistic about this cherished adventure. Lowly was familiar until he taught me Elevation. Hard was routine until he showed me the path to Ease. Abuse has been the status quo. Neglect was normal, tolerated and at times, essential but now, I mindfully welcome a new way.
“The thing about growing up is, you sort of start thinking, anything’s possible.”-Ginny, Order of the Phoenix