Last week was filled with days of dappled clouds; some of them poured rain with profuse drops. The coincidental cool air created perfect moments for curling on the sofa with a fleecy throw, a cup of Earl Grey, a passionate devotional, and ears to hear water drizzle and God's voice whisper.
A lone, misty afternoon in the center of the week gave me that opportunity. I thought I would use the clammy weather and quiet time to read, pray, and ponder.
Before I could make a nest on my sofa, my plans changed. Faint squeals broke through my God thoughts. I peered through the blinds of my backdoor. Four little feet were running up the walk. Four little eyes were fixed on their goal, looking for their mimi to help them over their final hurdle.
When I opened the door, Olivia, my three year old granddaughter was drifting behind her twenty-one month old sister, Ella. Olivia was running. Ella was racing.
I have never seen a baby hyperventilate, but I thought Ella just might provide my first opportunity. I could hear and see her breathing. Her vast brown eyes on her sweet, small face were looking up and straight into me. Her thin, brown pigtails were bouncing. Her tiny baby teeth were shining. Her rosy cheeks showed baby bliss.
Ella's passion bubbled over. Yet, she was running too quickly, and stumbled, and fell. Her tiny, less than two-year old legs could not support her massive zeal.
Before I could move out the door to pick her up, Ella had picked herself up, rushed, and jumped into my arms.
She had no bumps, no scratches, no bruises. Only smiles and hugs and kisses and an innocent, loving look that poured purely into my soul and melted my grandmother heart.
That passion of my brave little granddaughter has now become my personal desire of imitation. Her quick little steps convict me of soul neglect and remind me of the joy of the One Who always waits for me.
God waits. Jehovah-Shammah, The Lord is There, anticipates my running to Him. He longs for my unreserved rush into His always open arms.
And, I should, in kind, anticipate the arms of my Father God and race toward Him, undaunted, with whole attention, gazing upward and inward into His holy countenance. My soul should long for His embrace with uncontainable excitement and leaping faith that does not care about the dangers of the hard ground beneath my feet. The risks of bumps, bruises, scratches, and skins should mean much less to me than missing my Father's arms.
God's open arms must mean more to me than the bruising language of another who had rather I just "work" for Jesus than sit as His feet. His waiting presence must mean more to me than the scratchy experience of being misunderstood by those who see my God-moments as a waste of time. God's courts must mean more to me than the jabbing voices within my own fleshly self that mourn for more television and extra personal pampering, and God's receiving of me must mean more to me than ideas of others who think I overspiritualize life and frown on my desire that God see me as His pure lover.
As Ella ran up the merciless, ashen pavement, I am quite sure she knew she could fall. She is a smart little lamb. Her senses are very keen. Her mocha eyes miss little. Yet, her mimi's arms were worth the risks to her.
My Father's arms of love are worth all possible risks. Risks must lose every persuasion on my soul. I must bow my being, every fiber of me, before the God of the universe, my God, the Lover of my life, and allow His light to permeate my self-consciousness and fill me with God-consciousness.
Let's let go of our risks. . . .
Let go of all risks. Grasp courage. Allow God's glory to diminish any thoughts of painful reaching for His love. Embrace the gritty texture of danger and run boldly and fearlessly on the coarse concrete ground below. Clasp in your heart contented dreams of leaping into your Father's arms.
Grasping, Clasping, Running, Leaping,
"My lover spoke and said to me, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me" (Song of Solomon 2:10, NIV).