The Kiss of God on the Soul
If you find yourself at a lose end on the 6th July..and the 7th and the 8th….you could always grab someone close to you and see if you can break the world record for the longest kiss. Apparently it currently stands at 58 hours, 35 mins and 58 seconds – and I wonder what it was that forced this hot-blooded twosome to stop when they did – was it a cough or sneeze – did they just get fed up. And how did they eat, or even go to the toilet during their record breaking attempt – especially if closely monitored by Guiness book of Records judges throughout the event?
Kissing has always been a very intimate transaction, highly significant, and adds drama to many a storyline. Throughout the Bible we see intimate moments of kissing which each have conveyed different meanings.
In the book of Genesis, Isaac calls his son to give him a kiss, and Jacob in doing so betrays his Father and cheats his brother Esau out of his birth-right. After many years of separation, Jacob returns to Esau, who runs to Jacob, wraps his arms around him and kisses him as a sign of reconciliation. After selling Joseph into slavery, his brothers come to him in Egypt to seek a handout from the foodbank, and in forgiveness Joseph kisses each of his brothers in turn. When Samuel anoints Saul as God’s future king, he kisses him to confer a blessing on him. In the Psalms, Saul’s successor David writes poetically of righteousness and peace kissing each other. In the gospels a woman kisses Jesus’ feet as an act of devotion, and of course one of his closest friends, Judas, ultimately betrays Jesus with a kiss. Love, devotion, betrayal, blessing, reconciliation – all encompassed in those unspoken acts of kissing.
However, it is from outside of scripture and to the Christian mystics that I look to for the most intimate examples of a kiss. The kiss of God on our souls. It is said that the human soul comes from God and that the last thing that God does before putting a soul into the body is to kiss the soul. The soul then goes through life always dimly remembering that kiss, a kiss of perfect love, and the soul measures all of life’s loves and kisses against that primordial perfect kiss. St Augustine in his Confessions echoes this when he says :
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
So, on 6th July I don’t really know what you will be doing. If you decide to attempt the world record challenge then do let me know. If you find yourself kissing a computer screen, or blowing a kiss over the telephone, that may well lighten your heart. But I might suggest you spend a moment, make some space, and allow your soul some time to remember and recall that perfect kiss.