IMAGES in the mind are by far more powerful than the images we see with our eyes, typically. But the image of seeing God in the moment — an interaction between mother and her two-year-old son — just in their conversing — was a powerful image. His language as he develops, how he surprises us with what he picks up, his exigent emotions as they are emerging, his play, the intensity of focus, the event of inspiration, the spark of creativity; all these things bring such joy to me as a parent.
His giggle when he’s tickled, and his hands over face to cover his eyes when he’s devastated, and his cheekiness to try and demand his own way — these bring his family alive. Alive to joy, alive in a fear for his emotional safety, and even alive to bear with him in patience.
In all this, in all our experiences with him, indeed, in all our experiences with all our children, we are brought alive. We know we are living. We feel. Whether we like what we feel or not is immaterial. We feel.
God teaches us in our observations of our young that we really do learn so much through the lifespan. It’s only that we grow at such a docile rate that we think nothing of it. But God is faithful in helping us all the way through our lives — the pinnacle of which is to learn through adversity, suffering, loss and grief.
No matter what our children come into the world with, we love them. No matter what disabilities we find they have, our love is unconditional. We have less certainty about how others accept our children. Indeed, we find we are now no longer most threatened about how accepted we are in this world, how the world accepts our young, and the home they find of the world, is now our chief concern. We get to think selflessly and, therefore, we are given a glimpse into God’s world.
But I must finish where I started. The image of an interaction of life, where I was just an observer; I could have observed it from heaven. And on the same day when last year we discovered our lives were to take another, now dire, direction we are relieved at the simple comfort of joy that can be experienced in a life now more normal.
He is my very near delight,
The glory of God’s joy,
Very near in my sight,
Boy, do I appreciate this boy!
© 2015 Steve Wickham.