“Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”
It’s like a constant mantra at times in my house right now.
My daughter is two, and her language skills are still in that stage where most wants, desires, and needs are only communicated with one word. Most of the time that word is “Mommy.”
I don’t resent this circumstance at all, but it can be a bit draining. Her world is, as of yet, a very small one with not a huge amount of people in it, and in this little social environment, “Mommy” just happens to be at the center.
For her, I am as much a part of her existence as her own hand. I am a near constant presence with only an hour here and there where I might be gone from her sight. When I do return after leaving her for an hour in the nursery or at her Grandma and Grandpa’s house she runs to me, all excitement and smiles, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”
It melts my heart!
On the other hand it gets just so very draining at times. Like that moment when you try to just get two minutes privacy in the bathroom and all of a sudden hear an upset, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” from beyond the door. Or when you’re trying to cook a meal, and you are both already just so very hungry, and you have this little person clinging to your leg, hampering all your efforts. “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”
“Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”
Makes me want to laugh sometimes, cry sometimes, and sometimes just snuggle this precious little child to me and never, ever let go.
Because I know, even as I’m wishing for that moments peace, that this time won’t last forever. Soon enough she won’t need me so very much. It won’t be long until others crowd out “mommy” as the center of her world. I don’t regret that this will happen, because it should happen, its a natural part of growing, growing away from the Mother who bore you. But I know that I will miss this time that I’m in, where she runs to me at the sight of me, cuddles me, and looks into my face with that adoring look of a toddler. It may tire me now, it may frustrate me now, but once its gone I will miss it.
And as I watch her running my way, or hear that mantra going on and on, it strikes my mind what Christ might have meant when He said to come as little children.
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16
After all, isn’t it this childlike desire and love what He wants from us? That He longs for?
“Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”
“Daddy! I need You Daddy!”
“I love You Daddy!”
“You’re my everything Daddy!”
I imagine God longs for us to run to Him like my little daughter runs to me. With excitement, trust, thrilled at the sight of Him.
I imagine God is just waiting for us to run to Him when we’ve stumbled and fallen. Looking for Him to kiss our scrapes and scratches and snuggle us into His waiting arms. Looking to Him to make it all better instead of us trying to do it ourselves.
He wants us to need Him. Demand His attention. Look to Him for approval. Constantly checking for His presence as we step out into our scary lives.
He longs to be the center of our lives.
Just like my little girl running to me with her tears, her triumphs, her everything, so He wants us to come to Him.
It’s so very natural, so very right, that a mother be the center of her child’s universe. Its something that doesn’t last, and shouldn’t, but for that little child it is very natural and healthy to be so dependent on one person. Dependent for love, security, safety, basically everything. At this young age we are at our most vulnerable, most open, most trusting, and, in some ways, most loving.
It’s why a violation of this security by an abusive or neglectful parent is so very harmful. It’s why small injuries from even rather good parents can last even into adulthood.
So now as adults the very last thing we want to be is vulnerable, open, and trusting. Life teaches us hard lessons and we rather quickly close ourselves off from this child that we were. We’ve learned that the safety of mothers arms just doesn’t protect us from life and hurts and pains.
I shudder to think of my daughter learning these lessons. I hope and pray she finds the better way.
Because there is a better way.
We outgrow our mothers arms eventually, we leave the safety and security behind. But that doesn’t mean we have to close away that childlike heart.
God’s arms are safe. With Him we can be vulnerable, open, trusting, and loving once again. If we can just open up enough to risk our hearts.
It’s not so easy for us is it? To be like this little child. We don’t want to run to God with our stumbles but to hide them. We don’t feel safe throwing ourselves into His arms because of all who have let us down in the past.
And its true, we’ve been so very let down.
But He is different. He’s our Father.
The Strong, Perfect, Loving, Safe Father. The one a part of our hearts has been looking for all our lives.
Ever since we were little children, looking to our parents. Calling for “Mommy.” Calling for “Daddy.”
Even then, we were looking for God Our Father. Abba, Daddy, God.
~Joy Aletheia Stevens