Posted In: #blueflame47blog Written on April 10, 2020.
When dawn was yet dusky on Sunday’s morn, I was searching our gardens for palm branches. My heart was hungry to welcome Jesus in this way, just days before Pesach, for it was holding a fragile Hosanna. Not frail from lack of saying, but delicate and vulnerable from its singing in these different and drawing days.
“Savior. Savior. Savior.” Breathless as it breaks. I know not a time that He hasn’t saved and I am raw from the testimony of it. He came to save which means He comes each and every day, as often as I need.
I traipsed tenderly upon poured paths and misty mulch in search of branches or boughs. Nothing felt familiar, like something to take hold of to herald. Until, I came to our newly extended porch that reveals my greatly expanded heart in this season. Perfectly placed next to a mat that says “my happy place” was our palm plant which I didn’t recall at the start of my search. I slipped into our room beyond the porch and grabbed my Bible and read the story of that day, when people cut palms from trees to hold their hallelujahs as He made His way into the city. Made a way for us into Heaven’s hold.
Light streamed and wind stirred in the cranny I had settled myself in. The branches began to bend in my hand. My palm. Each frond was set apart by the breeze. All shivered and found the rhythm of His presence. His present.
On that day, not one had to pay price for leaved limbs. Offshoots were offered from the arms of creation. The people simply received what was given. Even praise was provided for.
Selah. Not a thing to do but pause in His presence and let the page of the story be dampened with the springs of my leaky heart. Watered word.
I held each branch in ray and radiance until they were near transparent, a thin membrane with lines of life. Pages flipped back to Isaiah 49:16 and an inscription.
I have engraved you on the palms of my hands, your walls are ever before me.
Are these woven words the reason a palm branch was worship’s wand on the day of His entry? Were those branches the ones meant to remind that the prophecy wouldn’t be full until His hands were fastened to the Cross. The final etching. Nail hit with hammer, becoming the engraver’s tool. The flourish for our flesh.
I am grateful that my walls are ever before Him, even as I sit in the enclave of stone and mortar. Those words have meant many things to me in many moments. On this day, I know they are walls in need of falling, so I might return to the fellowship of His fame, fully.
The word ‘kaph’ (Hebrew for palm) begins to mingle with “Savior” and tears. A wound had to come to the palm branch for it to be carried in the palm of His people. A necessary carry for His choice to be buried. Hosanna indeed.
Kaph, the palms of palms. The soft spot on the underside of hand and foot. Cupped surface like cup that was to come.
To kaph means “to bow or bend and create a hollow.” I am there. With Him. My palms feel smooth stone, soaked in my sentiment. I think of the palm or hollow of a slingshot, holding a smooth stone that would slay a giant. And I reckon with the truth that He truly has been part and parcel of every single story we have ever known. No telling is complete without Him. Giant slayer. I wonder there, if His hands, steadying Him in a garden with knees to the earth, found stone like seed. Did He press it into the soil with our names inscribed upon His palm pulsing with promise and water the seed of us with His tears and blood-filled sweat?
I feel myself growing by the image. I pray, in His image. The seed finding fertile in place of fallow now. Every part of me is responding now in my private portico. I am created. I am creation. Doesn’t my blood rush like a river? Isn’t my heartbeat like the crashing of waves or the rolling of thunder? Isn’t my breath a breeze, reviving the world around me as I respond? And isn’t my laughter like bird’s song free from worry and care? Aren’t my tears like spring rains, falling upon test and testimony?
I stand, barely, thinking of Jacob wrestling with One in the guise of man, and the kaph created in him when the touch of his thigh resulted in a hollow that left his joint hanging. I understand now, for I feel my heart hanging as it is held. It has been touched and hollowed. New space spins like galaxies, spirals, moving all back to order. Just in time for Seder. My heart now hangs like the Heavens. All in order. Him in place.
Eventually, I am able to make my way inside and place the branches upon our table. I sit for a moment and think of the dove who left the ark and returned having found no rest for the sole of her foot (Genesis 8:9). But again she was sent and found a bough. Sole rested.
I, with my branches, am soul rested. No weary or worry of the world can change that. I am fastened to the Cross with Him. He, inscribed with all of me, all of us, gave every part of Himself.
He paid the price of praise there. The wounds that allow us to graft to His grace and goodness. His groan of creation that revealed it’s very cry and cadence. So we could reckon and recognize. The break of flesh for the beauty of humankind. Kind humans. Unbroken bones so we could meet the marrow of majesty. Blood not spilled but poured, the full flood that redeems and restores.
He came. He comes. He lived. He lives. He died. He resurrected. He resurrects. He didn’t leave us, but leads us to resurrect still. Every day. In all His ways.
Outside I went once more, not with palm branches, but palms outstretched. For I am, we are, creation, heavy with purchased, provided praise. Hosanna! Savior!!
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