Is there a person or an animal in your life that happens to think you’re the best? Who is always sad to see you go? A loyal dog who whines or digs holes when you leave? A feline friend who scratches things they shouldn’t? Perhaps a child who cries or gets upset?
Lately, my three year old has been hysterical when I leave the house without her. It feels like it comes from a heart that has a lot of love for her mama. Now, I can’t always see that fact, seeing as how if she takes it up a notch to actually throwing a fit, I’m making that sideways head tilt while trying to remain calm. But there have been moments, several in fact, where she just sits in my lap and cries, begging me not to go. No fit, just tears; because she genuinely just wants to be with me.
All the time. Every single moment of every single day.
And that kind of love and attachment is beautiful, when it’s not a little suffocating.
Sometimes I need the reminder that this is a sweet, sweet thing. That this time of her always wanting to be close to me, at all times, will end. I know it will. I want this time with her before I have to share her with school. And she is equally jealous for my time as well.
The last time I drove away with the other two kids in the car, my 6 year old said, “wow mom, she really loves you.” And, well, it got me thinking. Like Holy Spirit convicting me type of thinking, the best and worst kind of thinking.
Do I love Jesus that way?
Do I just want to be with Him? Right next to Him? Like, all the time? Am I genuinely sad when we are not spending time together?
Well, dang it, not really. And these questions nibble at my heart, because I don’t know what to do with them. It’s probably why I’ve always had a hard time with the Martha and Mary story. I did an entire study on it, “Having a Martha heart in a Mary World” (I’d highly recommend it) but I still struggle with, how do I make Jesus a priority in my life when life is, life. Every single one of us has responsibilities, work, obligations. And so when Martha drops it all to be at Jesus feet, I hate that I can so relate to Mary’s annoyance (and clearly edited out heavy sigh and eye roll) “Lord, tell her to come help me” I get it. There.Is.Work.To.Do. We cannot do all the things we have to do, and sit at Jesus’ feet at the same time. Just like I cannot possibly sit down with my 3 year old and play with her all day, as she’d have it. But I can invite her to join me. Of course she would rather we played all day, but she’s just as happy to join me in what I’m doing. Chopping veggies? She’s right there. Making lunch, I’ve got my helper. All the things, always together.
So, I had to stop and ask myself, why don’t I always treat my time and my day with Jesus the same?
We’ve all heard about having a child like faith, but what about having child like love?
What if I acted a little more like my toddler than the busy adult that I am? What if I saw Jesus the way my toddler sees me? Hmmmm. Strange concept I know. But, I am the world to her. She comes to me for everything. When she is happy, she comes to share it with me. When she gets hurt, or is scared, she runs to me. If I am sitting near her, she automatically comes and sits in my lap. Out in public, she is that child who is clinging like hot glue to her mama’s leg. And, truth be told, sometimes I just wanna shake her right off. (I know, I’m the worst, but you guys, it’s like 1,000 degrees here) But lately, I can see more than the threat of tripping over each other. I see a little girl who trusts me. She knows I am safe, when in her mind, everything and everyone else is unsafe. And being the jaded human being I am, I am okay with her hiding behind me as long as she’d like.
So what if we started living our moments like that? Since we adults know the world to be a rough, unforgiving, scary place, what if we ran to Jesus? What if we starting desiring to spend more and more moments with Him? Not just our quiet time moments, but our natural, living, every single day moments. Sometimes I get stuck sitting in quiet time with Jesus, which is beautiful, essential, life giving, but I don’t ever just sit with my toddler all day long. (homegirl hardly sits still!) But rather, we walk hand in hand as we do things together. And I feel like Jesus is saying, “sweet daughter, take my hand. I want to be with YOU, all the time. In every moment, in every good thing you encounter, in the scary times, and hard situations, in the temptations, in the questions, in every everything, I am here.”
So, let’s ask Jesus to show us what following Him around looks like, since it has been a long time since any of us have been toddlers. Because the intimacy He desires with us is unique to us, it will look different for each and every one of us. But if we let it, I think it has the ability to change how we see Jesus. He is our Father who loves us, cherishes us, and delights in us. And His love is so unconditional, He loves us no matter what, even if sometimes we throw our own adult sized fits.