O Lord, you have made us very small, and we bring our years to an end like a tale that is told; help us to remember that beyond our brief day is the eternity of your love. ~Reinhold Niebuhr
The year I decided to let God make me real, my daughter was born. Staring into her tiny face, I saw myself from God’s point of view–dependent, demanding, loved beyond belief.
And amusing. For so long I thought changing my own diapers and rummaging through the fridge, needing help from no one, was what he preferred. How often did he roll his eyes?
But now I understand. Like a helpless newborn, what else can I do to survive but to wail? And who can blame me if I greedily cling to the one who responds without fail, whose warmth and nourishing presence are my world, my hope?
Can you leave your grown-up presumption behind long enough to hear his lullaby?
Leave your competence, your stoic self-sufficiency, your fear of being a bother or appearing less than perfect. Come as an infant, wrinkle-faced and red-rashed. Come hungry, come irritated and frustrated with life beyond your control.
Lay in my arms and look into my eyes. I know what you feel. I know what you battle, and I know what battles you.
I entered your world empty, a helpless, dependent child. I left it in pain, a broken failure in the eyes of most. I’ve lived what it means to be human.
I’ve tasted the baffling stew–wonder and confusion, beauty and blemish, triumph and disappointment, I’ve drunk deeply of both sorrow and joy. I too was tempted to reject my humanity–become beast or idol. To wallow in brute pleasure or usurp the Father’s rule.
I know what you know, but I know more. My vision fills with meanings you cannot see.
1. Little things you miss:
- the sun-slanted pattern across the floor,
- the rain-scented breeze through your open window,
- an unexpected kindness–
reminders delivered every moment by me, “I am here.”
2. Big things you fear:
Events and movements so big and grand, in this life you can only see their shadow. Those shadows threaten, and you turn from me to stumble off on your own.
And every day I sing, “Come needy. I’m the One who can make it right.”
Have you heard God’s lullaby?