Early, early this morning, I was awakened from the deep, dark recesses of my slumber by two little sets of hobbit feet tip-toeing up our bedroom stairs. The little boy with the scary dream that he needed to tell his Mama about NOW, and the ever dutiful biggest brother - who was also forcefully awakened by the scare, but willing to shine the flashlight through the living room and up the stairs for the one who is just a wee bit scared of the dark to go all by himself.
"Wassamatter, Bud?" I hear my man-voice muffle out from under my piles of pillows and bottom sheet that somehow - with all of my pregnant tossing and turning - has gotten wrapped around my neck in the middle of the night.
"Mama..." Long pause....Assessing if that really and truly is me under that scary voice and tangled mass of bed.
"Mama." He tries again. "I just had a really scary dream." His brave little voice has suddenly taken on a sort of a whimper. "I dreamed that if you touched me three more times, I would turn into a robot....and so everytime you came over to touch me or to hug me, I would yell No! No! No! Don't touch me."
"Awwww, Buddy. That would be kind of scary if you turned into a robot, huh? But, I'd still love you, anyway, you know."
Jesse leans that solid, squishy little body into mine, and then he can't resist crawling all the rest of the way under the covers - wrapping those strong little arms around my neck - and pressing his cheeks into mine just as close as he possibly can.
Because this is the most important part of the dream that he has to share.
This is where it gets really scary...
"But, Mama..... If I was turned into a robot, then we wouldn't be on the same team, anymore."
And there it is - that unspoken question...the one that we so often ask our own Heavenly, Father -- do we not? Is there anything that could ever happen to me - anything that I could ever do - to make you not love me? To cause You to want to take me off of your team? Anything at all?
And, as parents, our instantaneous reaction is to immediately assuage that fear and that worry - to assure them that there is absolutely nothing that could ever happen to cause us to take our love away from them. Because our love in unconditional - always and forever - no matter what, and no questions asked. It's a no brainer...
Without even thinking my response is this:
Ohh, My Child.
I will always love you.
I will always want you.
We will ALWAYS be on the same team...no matter what.
And if - for just just once - we could keep things simple - and if we could forego all of the theological discussions and debates...isn't one of the primary ideas of parent/child relationships here on Earth to be tangible reflections and reminders of what our relationship with our Heavenly Father is to look like? Isn't this what He tries to whisper to us ALL day -- every day? What He tries to get us to hear and to understand?
Ohh. My Child.
I have loved you with an everlasting love...I will always love you.
Nothing can separate us...I will always want you.
Why do we complicate things so?
Why do we not allow that same grace to be extended our way?
Why do we not have that same trust - wild with abandom - in our Heavenly Father as our children do with us?
Lord knows that WE know they are far from perfect.
They're going to mess up. Royally, no doubt.
They are going to make some pretty stupid decisions.
Does that, for one second, change their status with us?
We flail and we fall.
We look in the mirror and we see Satan's hissing lie.
We say God isn't good, and how could he love ME, and there's no more grace leftover...
And He hears our cries.
He knows the question beneath the questions.
And just as we always do - and will do forever with our own children....
He will do with His.
He binds up our wounds, He woos us back...and "with His love, he will calm all our fears." ~ Zeph.3:17
He loves us.
He wants us.
He delights in us.
Always and forever....no matter what....and no questions asked.