In our household, it has been a season of little sleep. One morning, I woke to see our daughter in our room, curled up on my blue bathrobe.
As a working mom, getting myself and the kids out the door is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Chocolate for breakfast? I don’t want to cater to every whim, but I am almost willing to do whatever it takes.
A few steps from leaving, my daughter made a grab for my robe. I understand the support of a stuffed animal or a favorite toy, but my robe? I waffled. What came next melted any remaining doubt: a small voice pleading, “I want to take it. It’s yours. I want it to be close to you.”
She carefully walked through the day care parking lot and into the building. She held the robe up, but because it is so long, it dragged behind her, snagging in sticks and dirt, and dabbling in puddles along the way. Would it even fit in her cubby? I tried to make mental measurements and imagined her teacher’s surprised, polite reply.
I smiled at the sight of my robe going public: how quickly something so personal to me, something only those closest to me see, was just put out there. I am continually struck by the combination of vulnerability and intimacy that lies in parenting. Powerful love this deep can’t help but brings things to light. There is a continual offer of closeness: sometimes it is welcomed, sometimes in ways different than imagined, and sometimes in perseverance when ignored.
The site of the fuzzy material splaying out of the cubby held my heart captive. Here was a tangible reminder that love shows up in unusual places. At first, these places don’t make sense and may seem silly, or just plain foolish. God chose such a time when He put Himself in the flesh, came to earth, and took on sin so that we may intimately know Him. Leaving perfection, He, who is light, willingly entered the darkness. Amidst this darkness, He is the ultimate parent shedding His light upon us.
His love is so deep, it can’t help but bring us into His light: sometimes it is welcomed, sometimes in ways different than we imagined, and sometimes in perseverance when ignored. From the beginning through today, the glow of God’s light forever changes ordinary places.
Then: in a humble stable, on the banks crowded with the needy, and ultimately on the cross.
Today: in a pre-K classroom.
Other kids had trendy pillow pets and cute blankets. Mine had a faded blue bathrobe. The unusual contents of cubby #9 focused my frazzled heart and quieted my fatigued Spirit. Often, God will use the ordinary in an unusual way so that His love will brighten the darkened and dimmed places.