The Weight of Presence

IMG_9479She crawls into my lap and puts her head down, I gently stroke her hair. Her little body curls up and relaxes into mine.

She wakes in the morning with a cry for me, I walk in with calming words, but it is as I pick her up, as the weight of her body becomes absorbed into mine that she calms.

She sits in her play area drinking her bottle, but as I pick her up and she points to the light, smile on her face, I feel the weight of her body pressing down on me, completing me.

My daughter is one year old and I love her more than I thought it possible to love anyone. Each new experience in mothering has brought something new to the table, or refined something that was born in me with the previous child. But with my baby girl, who is sitting dancing in her high chair as I type, I have been humbled by the presence of God. As I picked her up this morning, to bring her over to join me with her pumpkin bread as I studied, I was struck by how my heart both raced and settled as the weight of her little body joined with mine. As her limbs wrapped around me, and the weight of her entire being was absorbed by the enormity of mine. As her little tushy nestled onto my hip, and everything that was supporting her faded, and became me.

Presence.

You can do a lot for a child with presence. When M is in my arms she is content and I feel whole. With my middle child, all he wants is for me to be with him, “Mummy I just want to be with you!” he cries. He wants me to look deep into his eyes when I am talking with him, wants me to see and hear his words. My eldest son wants me to come alongside in what he is doing. Wants me to play Lego with him, play Video games with him, read with him, sleep alongside him.

Presence.

They don’t care what kind of breakfast I give them, homemade muffins or pop tarts. They don’t care what we do on Saturday, whether we go to a hay bale maze and do some apple picking or stay home in our pajamas reading books.

Isn’t that what God wants of us too? He doesn’t care if we can recite the book of Job, he just wants to be near us. He doesn’t care if we know who wrote the book of Ephesians, or when, or how it pertains to the current political clime. He simply wants the weight of our bodies to press into His. To feel our existence dependent on His. To feel the weight of our presence like a mother feels a baby.

Sure, all that stuff is good, all that stuff is wonderful. It’s enriching and life affirming. It builds us up and makes for a richer, deeper relationship.

But nothing beats that first few sweet minutes of the day, when I pick up my daughter, take her weight into my own as she melts into me. When we look at each other with sleepy eyes and feel I am my beloved’s and she is mine.

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