It’s been one whole year since I last wrote to you. Perhaps this is a good practice, a yearly practice, of coming to a place where I decide that I’ll choose to love you. For me, this is choosing to be brave. In all honesty it would be easier if I chose to ignore you.
But here we are. I’ll be truthful: I’ve been sitting here for awhile. These love letters tend to feel agonizing and take so many hours to write.
I can’t help but think of my sister. Her body is vastly different than mine this year — she’s blooming with another life, a tiny boy forming deep inside of her. But me? There’s nothing new about me. Just one year older, a few dreams slightly closer, hopefully a handful more wisdom in my brain.
Body, we’ve had some adventures this year, haven’t we? Feet, you were covered in red African dirt in May — you watched the burnt clay swirl around in the drain while you were showering, and as you washed clean, you prayed the red stain in your soul wouldn’t do the same. You want Africa to stay fastened with you for as long as possible.
Legs, you danced in the kitchen this past summer as you worked at camp. Hips, you shimmied and twirled in the barn while the white lights twinkled and the music played. Mouth, you spoke each Tuesday on bravery and Jesus’ love and the fact that bravery and Jesus are strongly connected with freedom. Lips, you sang songs and led worship, even though you felt terrified and vulnerable to be leading in that way.
Arms, you were strong as you held Eve — that baby girl you named in a crowded, hot hospital in the centre of Uganda. You try and pray for her everyday.
Eyes, you have seen beautiful things: gorgeous African wildlife, and sunsets that seemed as if Jesus took the best brand of watercolours and dipped them across the sky. And do you remember those stars, Eyes? When you were in the midst of Uganda, when you stretched your toes against the Jeep seat and stood up, your head up out of the roof, your eyes scarcely believing the stars that were in front of you. There were more white stars than black night. They made you tremble.
Hands and fingers… it’s no secret that you’re the favourite. You paint and write and touch. You make art and write letters and give those letters away. You play guitar (poorly) and create fine, lovely things.
Body, we have been places, and met people, and heard stories, and have written words, and have painted art. We do things. We do brave things. We are enough. We are adequate. We are worthy. We are significant.
I’m deeply sorry I don’t tell you this more frequently.
I’m deeply sorry I don’t often love you.
I’m deeply sorry.
Body — thank you. Just, thank you.