I heard Sam trot down the hall and peek around the corner, grinning into the office where I sat.
Twenty minutes ago I snuggled him in for a nap. Now, my 2-year old looked high on caffeine and sugar.
This day was not going as planned.
My heart sank at the thought of a round-two nap. My mind raced and fingers itched to write, and I didn’t want to “squander” my next hour cuddling a toddler.
As I begrudgingly gathered my son close, pulling the covers over both of us, God reminded me how He so often gathers me close, persuading me to rest.
I consider how He tucks me into His presence and speaks in heart whispers, still and small.
As I lay next to Sam, I understood why the psalmist said God gives sleep to those He loves, (Psalms 127:2). Zephaniah 3:17 even paints God singing over us as we sleep.
Almost like God poured a bucket of love over me, I lay next to my son drenched, soaked by His compassion to draw me close. Then, I heard these lyrics stream from my phone’s speaker.
“When the rain is blowing in your face,
And the whole world is on your case,
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love.
“When the evening shadows and the stars appear,
And there is no one there to dry your tears,
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love.”
The words caught me off guard. Seldom do I feel God’s love. Love’s deficit, I know. Stress. Condemnation. Performance-ism.
Hadn’t I asked to feel the love of God yesterday? The tears sneak from my eyes as I realized the good gift given by a good Dad.
The O’Neil brothers continue to croon about romantic love, but I know Papa sings about agape love—a love I’m only beginning to catch a glimpse of.
“The storms are raging on the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret.
The winds of change are blowing wild and free,
You ain’t seen nothing like me yet.
“I could make you happy, make your dreams come true.
Nothing that I wouldn’t do.
Go to the ends of the Earth for you,
To make you feel my love
To make you feel my love.”
Sam looked at me with concern written across his face and asked why I was crying. How do you tell a toddler you’re weeping because of joy?
How do you tell him how grateful and stunned you are that God can serenade you through Pandora’s lullaby channel? That tears can be beautiful prayer to Jesus?
I’m beginning to see this crucible of motherhood as chance after chance to see with new eyes how God loves us. To see, how over the years, God keeps on loving us.
Beyond the cross, I can’t think of a better way to show us self-sacrificial love.
As parents, our days are chock-full of training and correcting. Most days, I’m so consumed being a parent, I forget how to be a child.
As I lay with my son, I remember whose child I am and marvel how we never pack up and leave this house of love Jesus built for us. God’s no empty- nester.
His father heart beats in the middle of all our moments, compounded throughout time. Until the day when we’ll step out of time—even then, we remain children of God.
The room is dark and still, now. My chest no longer heaves in sobs. Sam sleeps in the crook of my arms, and I know this feeling is fleeting. But I linger, hoping to keep the song in my head.
He stands over you singing too, friend. Listen, do you hear it?