September 23, 2014

We Mother By Following as a Child

We stand to sing at church; my youngest son grabs my hand and leans his head into my side. I instinctively pulse his hand to the beat of the song and he pulses back, a little game between us.

We sing of following after our Father, and as always happens during this specific song, I want to dance as I imagine running through a forest, holding His hand, laughing as I pursue my God, delighting in the smile on His face and the joy between us.

Instead I swing my son's arm, another little game between us, and, because it's terribly fun, he won't let me stop swinging. I close my eyes to run after my Father through singing, reaching for His hand as I'm holding a little hand at my side, this little hand that He's gifted me.

I pray for this little one. I want to explain to him the beauty of chasing after God, and of catching Him. I want to give him the picture in my head. I want to wave him to come along with me, and as I feel the tug of his hand, I realize that I'm simultaneously following and leading. I'm following my Father as a child and I'm also leading a child to Him.

I lean down to whisper in his ear. "Just now, I was praying for you to know how much you are loved by God. I love you, but He loves you so much more." He cocks his head, as he does when he is considering something that's been said. I can't see his eyes, but the dimple appears in his cheek, and I know he's smiling.

I stand straight again, still holding a little hand, and pray that God will help him know the call on his heart, and help him remember the words that I say in an effort to paint a picture of God, and help him chase after his Father.

And I pray that I will hold tightly to my Father's hand and remember that it's in following as a child that I am leading this child at my side.

This moment with my youngest boy also reminded me of a post I wrote about mothering my oldest son, who has special needs, and seeing God's faithfulness in his life. I hope you'll read it as a companion piece to this post. Find it here: Along This Road.