What is it I really want? What is it I think I really need?
I thought I knew. The prayers of “if I could just have a baby…” And here I am; the warm curl of a ten pound infant against my chest. This is what I wanted. This is what I thought I needed. These wee-morning moments. I sit on the rocking chair with child, tummy tight with fresh formula. I feel her discomfort and reposition her just below my collar bone and rock and rock. These wee morning moments are my schooling hours. I learn in the light of the rising sun that I am no more than this infant wanting to held and comforted by the risen Son; curled against His chest; my head resting on His shoulder. She fights. Her head banging against my collar bone, twisting side to side, grunting and trying to find that comfortable place. I do the same. She is in my arms. And aren’t I in His? I close my eyes and see.
He wraps His arms around me and I around her. I caress her cheek and whisper “Shhhh.” And I hear Him do the same. And I quiet for a moment, we quiet for a moment. Lay our heads back down and rest.
New light. That is what I want. To be wrapped in the arms of my loving Father and to feel warm, protected, and safe enough to fall asleep – my grunting quieting to deep breaths, full breath, life-giving breath.
I lay the child down in her crib. She flails, kicks, and grunts. I see myself in her. Am I not flailing, kicking, grunting? I am standing right above her, watching, ready to grab her and hold her tight if she doesn’t soothe to deep sleep. I lay a hand on her chest, a hand on her head. The arms slow. The legs loosen. The fists uncurl. Breath. Slow and deep. First her and then me. I’ve been holding mine.
The child quiets, soothes to sleep—trusting that when she wakes, she will be comforted, fed, loved. If this is what I do for the child, then how much more does the Creator of the universe do for me?
I turn to leave her, to tend to the day. The gym, the shower, the job, the tasks. This is where I stop and God starts. He doesn’t leave us. He doesn’t close the door and tip-tip-toe away. He is there: in the gym, in the shower, in the job, in the tasks.
I rub my eyes to clear the sleep and I open them again. I’m starting to see.
This little one, just 10 weeks in this great big world, teaches me the profound: we are all infants. And I know all too well: I don’t trust like an infant. I have half the faith but all the helpless of my daughter so sweet.
I am a slow learner and God is so patient.
It’s taken 30-some years to get it—to get what it means to have faith like a child…and the lesson is sweet.
By Emily W.
Photo by: Tamaki Sono