18 November 2013

but I have calmed and quieted my soul

Mother and Child, Mary Cassatt
My daughter wants to be with me almost constantly. If she feels out of sorts, comfort only comes from Mama, and she'll raise a ruckus until I come to her rescue. When she's nursing she grabs my shirt and stares up at my face, as if she's making sure that I won't disappear. She needs her mother and is not ashamed to admit it; she loves to look at me, touch me, and smile back at me.

How might my life look if I'd cling to God as tightly as Ellie clings to me?

Life wouldn't look much different, I imagine, as I'd still be going about my daily tasks. But I would be different as I did those things.

If I was that desperate to see God's face . . . if I cried out to Him whenever I felt confused or stressed or afraid . . . if I would, spiritually speaking, regularly climb into His arms and relinquish my burdens?

I think that peace and joy would suffuse my soul anew. While ironing or sweeping or grading papers or trimming my daughter's fingernails, His peace and joy would wrap about my busy mind and give me a hopeful song to sing. I do experience those qualities even now. I just want more. I desire to "pray without ceasing," so that my everyday would be shot through with His presence. That means ceasing to pretend that I have my act together, and admitting that yes, Lord, I need you now and always.

The best part of all this is that I don't need to find a revolutionary new way to experience God. He abides with me already. May my eyes be open and my hand closed tight around His finger . . . as Ellie's is around mine.
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother . . .
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.

-Psalm 131

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