“Maddie, get your book bag,” my husband said in his let’s-get-moving-because-we’re-late voice. “Time to pray.”
I grabbed two familiar hands, squeezed them both and bowed my head. As my husband began to pray, Maddie let go of my hand, entwined her arm around mine, leaned into me hard and began to squirm. I opened one eye and there she was; partially covered in my robe and face up smiling as big as daylight underneath me. Her eyes shouted six year old love notes to my heart.
I returned her smile, winked back my own love note, then silently mouthed the words, “pray” to help her focus. With the “amen” came an immediate embrace that nearly threw my back out and restrained my arms from movement. I bent over to kiss her little cherub cheeks, but she grabbled my face and proceeded to kiss my left cheek, the tip of my nose, my right cheek, and then took off down the stairs shouting, “I love you Mommy! Good bye!” It’s our morning ritual that hasn’t lost it’s meaning by routine.
This little treasure we were given in our old age is a daily blessing. Even when her Irish stubbornness, Italian volatility, and German resistance permeates her flesh and lands her in time out. But as I sat at the kitchen table and began to pray about a project I’m working on, the Lord replayed our morning prayer time. Then the words “Be still” whispered straight to my heart. I stopped praying and sat quiet, trying to silence my thoughts.
“I love you Lord. You are so…” I continued.
“Be still. Be quiet My daughter,” came His reply.
As I tried to sit quiet and focus my thoughts before Him (have you ever tried this?), He replayed the morning with my daughter. I saw as she grabbed my hand, embraced my arm, then tucked herself into my warm robe and looked with love into my face. I felt afresh the pressure of little hands grabbing hold of my face and the pure tenderness of pursed lips on my cheeks. But then I felt a small sensation in my heart that was immediately amplified. It was the ache and desire I had to hold HER, embrace HER, kiss HER, and convey MY love straight into those beautiful brown eyes.
The Lord didn’t need to say anything else to my heart. I knew that as a Father, He loves when we grab His hand to pray. He loves our embraces, our glances into His face, our demonstration and words of love. But…how He longs to have us sit still, stop squirming, and give Him the opportunity to love us as only He can.
His grip is eternal. Jesus said that once we are His children, “no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” Jn 10:28-29.
His eyes are full of grace. “But Noah (place your name here) found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Gen. 6:8
His robe completely covers us and has the power to save our souls, save us from our enemies, and adorn us with a covering that is pure, holy, spotless and obtained by grace. “…My soul shall be joyful in my God; He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness…” Isa. 61:10
His kiss of favor and blessing and love is greater and more fulfilling than any earthly pleasure. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth for your love is better than wine.” SoS 1:2
His words of love touch, change, heal, revive, encourage and strengthen the depths of our soul. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Ps. 119:103
I looked out the window to the remnants of our first snowfall of the season. The fresh white blanket covered all of the dead leaves of the fall and made me thank Him for the purity of His love that just blanketed my earthiness and life that was once dead from the “fall.”
We love Him today…because He first loved us forever (1 John 4:19).