Hold Me by Patti Corbello Archer

jesus hold

How many of you saw the movie, “The Help”? I think my 2 favorite parts of the movie were first of all when the nanny maid would pull the little girl with the long blond hair to her and say, “You are special, you are kind, you are smart…” and secondly of course, where the uppity prejudiced woman got her comeuppance. I know as Christians we are supposed to love our enemies, but I haven’t gotten a 100% on that yet lol. I think if you have ever been the underdog or victim you understand what I mean. But the part that has truly stayed in my heart is the part where someone cared enough to speak to the child’s character and spirit with gentleness and love – equipping her for a world that is kind, well, not near often enough.

I love laying my granddaughter across my lap. She looks into my face and I tell HER how wonderful, beautiful, smart, gentle, kind, precious, intelligent, creative, and on and on she is. As long as I speak she watches me, listens and absorbs every single word I use to describe her. She loves it. Then I tell her that I love every part of her from her hair to her toes, her hair, her eyes, her nose, etc. – that every part of her is worth loving – and that Jesus loves her too. And then we end it with a declaration that we love each other with our whole heart! This is a precious part of the valuable legacy that I will leave her.

I can’t help but think of that in this season of reflection. I don’t so much think of the New Year as resolutions but reflections. What worked, what didn’t, new things to accomplish, things to mark off my list, increasing my relationship with Jesus, being healthier, being more kind, smart, intelligent, gentle…etc.

That reminds me. Has anyone ever read Etiquette for Dummies? Oh my gosh, please do! I bought it years ago and pulled it out again. So many times we think getting snippy with someone, tuning someone out, road rage, or telling it like it is – is just part of being human. It is actually bad manners! Eek! I kid you not. It is amazing that we don’t think of ourselves as having bad manners. I am on Chapter 5 and ouch.

But back to the story, for my New Year thoughts I pulled out 5 books, my Bible, my Journal between me and God, a Rules of Engagement warrior prayer pamphlet, a cookbook What Would Jesus Eat, and the paperback Etiquette for Dummies.

All of these things seem to be about me, me, me but in actuality they make me better for you, you, you so that we can all see Him, Him, Him.

He continually reveals to me with every epiphany that it is always all about Him and I just get to be a part of it.

There is nothing like being held in His arms as He speaks to me, like the nanny maid did to that little girl, “You WILL have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control…”.

Patti Corbello Archer
1/4/14

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“En Garde” by Patti Corbello Archer

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Ally slammed the door as hard as she dared and walked outside. She wished she could get the satisfaction of the glass breaking but then again she was glad she didn’t have to clean up the mess. Temper was not a good thing. As she glanced around her she saw that daylight was fading fast but she had to go unwind – she was about to explode. A worn path led the way to the back of the barn where her favorite swing waited for her.

With a sigh she sat down in the area indented from many years of swinging and seeking God. She leaned her head back on the top edge and an almost imperceptible movement of her left knee set the swing in motion. The gentle rhythm and the breeze ignited the promise of peace deep inside of her. She needed to be rescued from the conflict and stress of the last 3 days.

Sold out by someone faking a God-purpose, betrayed by a trusted friend, and then finally the last straw, today, she was rejected by someone who swore they would always love her. 3 days of hell she thought to herself…3 days. Suddenly, the pain reminded her of another in this Easter season…. “Jesus,” she whispered as tears welled up in her eyes.

Behind her a tall man leaned against the edge of the barn door and watched her. He was barefoot with jeans and a loose shirt. He looked down on the shelf just inside the doorway and saw her bible. A very dusty Bible. He flipped it open with his hand and a silver sword appeared in his hand. Not saying a Word He slowly walked up behind her. He smelled her…loved her…and missed her. Suddenly feeling a flash of anger inside Himself He grabbed the chain and stopped the swing.

Ally gasped and swung her gaze behind her. Tear tracks on her cheeks testified to her distress. “Jesus,” she said. “You came!” As blue eyes gazed into blue eyes He told her abruptly, “Get up.” Surprised, she stood up and walked around the back of the swing toward Him. As she neared Him her tears fell again. “I need you,” she said. He leaned forward and rubbed His cheek against hers…transferring her tears to His face. He closed His eyes a moment and stepped back. She watched Him; sensing His intensity.

She started to say something but He put His hand over her mouth. “No,” He said, “it is my turn.” He turned and walked back to the shelf where her Bible was. He reached toward it and another sword appeared in His other hand. Only then did she notice the first sword. She swallowed hard.

He turned to face her. They stood there for a moment in silence. Then Jesus said, “Have you forgotten how to use it, Ally?” And before she had time to respond, He tossed the 2nd sword through the air toward her. As it flew she found herself getting in position to receive it – and caught it. She watched Him salute her and He said, “En Garde.” She saluted Him back and said, “Forgive me, Mighty One.”

His shout caught her off guard as He brought the attack to her, reminding her, teaching her new tricks and showing her how to go from offense to defense in the battles of the world with His Word. The swords were powerful as they clashed and vibrated down their arms. He was so much taller but the weapon that He had given her was just as powerful as the one He held.

She watched the sweat run down His face, His hair getting wet. He watched the sweat and struggle awaken the faith on the inside of her. Her eyes no longer welled with tears but glistened with purpose and remembrance of how to fight the good fight. He rushed her and brought her up against the barn wall, His sword at her throat. She gasped and looked up at Him, knowing that He was always her Champion. He grinned at her, turned His sword around and handed it to her by the hilt.

“Come on,” he said. Now let’s swing. And by the way, “of course I forgive you.”

Happy Easter…with a Reminder for the season
Patti Corbello Archer
March 23, 2013