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The child clings, arms wrapped like ivy around my own. It's time to put him down for sleep, but his whimpers say otherwise. We've been apart all day, and he is clear that he needs more--the smell, the feel, the nearness of mommy. "Don't let me be separated from you yet, Mommy," his actions say.
How long has it been since I needed God like this? How long since I cried out in Psalmic style, "Do not cast me from your presence" (Psalm 51:11)? I can't even remember.
Instead I remember how tired I am. I feel annoyed at the child's clinging. I am tired from work, I haven't eaten dinner yet, and I really just want to take a shower and go to bed myself. I have no space for this need.
How is it that God never grows weary? That He never gives up? We ignore him, we don't need him, and then when we suddenly cling, He is there like the prodigal son's father looking for us and waiting to bring us in.
I hold the child longer. I sit back down and we rock. This rhythmic movement that seems to come from where time began. His head nestles into my neck, and I feel him breathing me in. We sing, we rock, and he relaxes.
I mumble prayers. God and I speak of frustrations with my husband applying for jobs and never getting anything. Does He care? Does He hear? Is it even worth talking to Him about anymore? Ah, the reason I stopped clinging. He doesn't seem to notice me. I know the Scriptures, I know the right answers, but I also know the weight of wondering when He seems to be ignoring us.
We dialogue, God and I, of clinging, of forgiveness, of being a mom like my Heavenly father, of being a child like this child of mine that's still clinging to me. We sing, we rock, and I relax.