"Shame, shame, shame."
Sometimes I feel like I can almost hear God saying that to me, hovering over me larger than life, shaking a big finger.
"Shame on you. Exactly how long has it been since you've read your Bible?" in a disapproving tone.
"Shame, shame. You think praying with your kids before meals and bedtimes is going to cut it?"
Is that Him? Is that how He sounds? Is that His heart?
Or maybe the picture should be painted more like this....
My husband is very busy in this season. He is working a 2nd shift job, a part-time job on the weekends, and is in the application process for two Fire Department jobs. (And by the way, do you know what Fire Department job application processes can look like? Yeah, I didn't either. Turns out some can take longer to work through than carrying and birthing a child. No joke. Just ask us.) Bottom line: Daddy doesn't have a lot of free time.
So, busy Daddy misses his kiddos. He soaks them up every chance he gets. And, in his sweet fashion, always gives the "good-byes" that really count. None of this "Bye, see ya later kids!" as he scurries out of the door. Nope. He calls them all to him, and one by one looks them in the eyes, speaks right to their hearts, and holds them like he means it, like they are treasured.
"Do you know I think you're great?" he'll say to our energetic, brown-eyed 5 year old.
"Levi, I'm so glad you're my son."
"I love you to the moon and back. You are so beautiful, Clara Grace."
That's a heart of a father that loves his kids.
You know what, I think God is much more tender and full of grace than I get. My distorted view paints Him to be so distant and harsh sometimes. But I think I get glimpses of Him more accurately as I see the Daddy in our house saying his good-byes to our four little ones.
He calls to us. He just wants us to come. He wants to whisper sweet truths in our ears. He wants us to know whose we are.
We are His. We are loved. We are beautiful in His sight.
It's not, "Shame on you, you no-good, no-Bible reading Momma!"; it's more like, "Daughter, I have something for you, please just come be refreshed by Me as you can."
He gets it. He knows we're up to our elbows in dirty laundry, snotty noses, and Legos. He is not disappointed that we give ourselves to these little lives. He doesn't expect us all to spend hours a day in deep Bible study, or in prayer like we may have once had the freedom to do.
He loves us. He wants to be with us. He just wants us to come. He doesn't need a one hour slot to speak deep, attitude-altering, spirit-checking truth into your heart. He can do it in 5 minutes, or less.
And He's not waiting to shame you. He is completing the work He started in you.
We can trust Him to make it happen.
It's all pretty amazing.