Of all the things I have learned in the 15 months since our daughter was born, one that I cherish the most is getting a deeper understanding of our Father’s love for us. There have been so many times when the veil has been lifted for just a moment and I can see more clearly, through my love for my daughter, how the Lord cares so deeply for us, His children. And more specifically, since holding my child in my arms and feeling every tear, every hurt, and likewise every smile or giggle of joy, I have a more abiding faith in the scriptural promise that God hurts when we hurt, and rejoices when we rejoice.
Yesterday I was working away at a recipe in the kitchen, and Bird crawled over to see her Mamma. As long as Im not at a dangerous stage, I let her play at my feet, usually with my big bowl of folded aprons (which of course end up not-so-folded :) ). This was one such day, and she pulled up to the drawer I have filled with plastic measuring cups and spoons for her to dig around in.
I turned my back for just a minute to grab something, and I heard a shuffle, a bonk, and then a cry. Poor Bird had stumbled and hit her face on the corner of the stove drawer. Ouch! She was so upset and I scooped her up in my arms, told her in a loving, calming voice how Mamma knows that must have hurt, and assured her it was going to be OK.
We sat on the couch; I held her close, and I sang to her. Itsy Bitsy Spider... Jesus Loves Me… I’d Like to Visit the Moon... Jesus Loves the Little Children. I sang and swayed gently back and forth until the tears subsided, and she looked up and gave me that pout-trying-to-be-a-smile look. I sang some more. I noticed the camera was in arms’ reach, so I snagged a photo of our cuddle.
I thought of this passage:
The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing. -Zephaniah 3:17
What a humbling picture.. the Lord holding us in his arms, rocking and singing to us when we hurt, feeling compassion and empathy for the things that bring us to tears.
I went back into the kitchen and noticed this:
I realized I had that brown paper bag in my hand when Bird fell. I dropped it without even thinking, in order to reach out to my child. I heard the Spirit whispering that the Father has the same focus on us- we are His focus and His primary concern.
If you look closely in these photos, you can see the red spot on Bird’s face. It turned into a bit of a bruise. But you can also see that, with the comfort of a loving parent, there are now smiles and joy; the pain is forgotten. The Lord wants to give us the same peace, despite our trials and pains.
Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. –Mathew 11:28
May you find rest and comfort today in the arms of The Father, and may He give us all the strength to reflect that love to the children in our lives, whether they be ours or others entrusted to us.