Essie, my five-month-old, has a strong personality that is beginning to shine. At times she’ll lay still as we deeply gaze into each other’s eyes making a love connection deeper than words. At other times, she is a very active and busy little girl, looking around distractedly by everything except my eyes … the spinning fan, daddy walking by, her brother’s sword noises and war cries amongst their Lego people, Hannah doing a cartwheel to each letter of her spelling words, the loud dishwasher … you name it! Often times, she’ll tilt her head back making it nearly impossible to hold her as if to say, “Put me down, Mommy, I have stuff to do – things to accomplish.” So I’ll set her down and she’ll begin rolling all over the place as if she has somewhere to be. At bed time or when she’s in her car seat, she’ll often cry and cry for no other reason except just wanting to jump around and play. Her diaper will be clean. She’ll refuse to nurse. But, as soon as I hold her up to bounce on my lap, she’ll giggle and coo as though she hadn’t just been wailing so loudly that I demand my husband pull over on the side of a busy road so I can frantically remove her from the car seat allowing her to catch her poor breath. PHEW! “Jokes on you, Mama!” she’ll say with those adorable greenish, brownish, blueish, hazel eyes. Eyes that melt my heart so much that I wish she’d just relax in my arms and stare at me more often. So at night I’ll often swaddle her up tightly so she can’t wiggle out and grab my hair, lay her on my bed, gently stroke her sweet chubby cheeks, and that’s when she finally gazes back at me, filling my heart with a love that continues to expand with each child. If eyes could speak, I’d say to her, “Baby, you don’t need – nor have you the power – to conquer the world. You just mastered rolling over, and that’s pretty big! All you really need to do is rest in me. I’ll make sure you’re fed. I’ll make sure you’re clean. I’ll take care of you, dear. I’ll play with you. You’re safe and loved so you can just relax and rest in my love.” There’s nothing that moves my heart more than her looking back at me as if to say, “Yes, Mommy, I am safe with you and I love you too.”
Essie’s busyness causes me to wonder if God might be feeling the same way I do. Perhaps He’s trying to say, “Little one, slow down! You don’t need – nor have you the power – to conquer the world. Let go of your self-imposed expectations or the expectations of other people. All I want from you is for you to rest, to pause and gaze at My beauty. Enjoy My creation as though you were looking ME in the eyes. I too want a love connection with you that goes deeper than words.
God-willing, (which it seems at the moment like He is) our family is going on a road trip to do just that. We’re taking school on the road to not only see the places we are learning about, but to grieve my dad properly and to be restrengthened and refreshed by the the Lord’s creation. We want to pause from the busy world to rekindle a love connection with our Maker. Even as we drive around, the temptation to be busy will still be there, causing us to risk missing the whole point. Perhaps in those moments Essie will scream and cry until we stop and pull her out of the car seat so she can bounce around our laps as if to say, “See, Mommy, I was just trying to get YOU to pause long enough to really SEE God.”
It’s easy to get distracted by the spinning fans and loud noises of this world that distract us from simply gazing on the beauty of God. What if the next revival has a lot less to do with what we can do FOR God and more about spending time WITH God. After all, isn’t that the first command? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your might.” Perhaps in doing so, our influential love for others will naturally follow. In fact, I wonder if staring into the loving eyes of Jesus IS the most effective thing we can do. Perhaps all God really wants from us is to hear us say, “I’m safe with you, Daddy, and I love You too.”