It was on stage yesterday that I was caught up in a memory. I sang the song “As the Deer”, a lovely song, inspired by the old songs of king David. But it was the last line, a common cultural phrase, that swept me up.
“You’re the apple of my eye.”
As I sang it, the words were directed towards my heavenly Father. I picture a barrel of apples, but one that is more beautiful than all the rest. Its shine catches my eye, I reach for it, not even noticing the others.
And yet this cultural phrase that carries little meaning in other parts of the world, is entwined in my heart, my memories. And every time, I know, I feel exactly what it means.
It was April 2010. I was sitting next to my mom in her bed. The history channel was on TV and she and I were writing letters. A letter to her sponsor child in Haiti explaining her illness. A thank you letter to someone who had sent flowers. Other letters that she could not bear to complete.
I could see out the window. The Millville plains stretched out to the creek where tall, stately trees indicated the flowing of the creek. Spring was coming. The sky was gray and the rain came and went for hours. With her eyes on the history channel and her thoughts somewhere unearthly, she reached for my hand.
She patted it.”Did you know you’re the apple of my eye?”
I told her I did. I had always known. Though no expressing of it had meant as much as that one.
“But I think it sounds better when God says it,” she finished.
I sang that phrase this weekend. I sang it to my Savior. But every time, I wondered what it sounded like when He said it to her. She went into His kingdom on May 18, 2010. While we experienced the unnatural horror of death, she was hearing His voice.
I wonder if He whispered it to her. A gentle embrace. A sigh of relief upon arriving home.
Or did He run to her, as she ran to Him? Did He touch His daughter’s face and say,
“Did you know you are the apple of My eye?”
I can’t imagine how much better it sounded when He said it.
And I cannot wait to hear it for myself.
You see, it’s not about doing the right things. It’s not about trying to be good. It’s not about following rules for a pat on the back. It’s about knowing Him. Wanting to know Him. A collection of days and moments spent believing. It’s about this crazy faith in the unseen. It’s about pursuing Him, though all else says it’s absurd. It’s about faith in the one true God. That He is a loving God, that He is a mighty, powerful God, and that it is He who has made us and not we ourselves.
I hope with all hope that you will hear it too. That you will endure, sprinting towards the finish line, or hobbling from earthly injuries, never giving up. Falling into the arms of the One that always loved you, even on those days of doubt when you were not sure He was even real. Even then, you were, you are, the apple of His eye.