It is the same each night that I go in to check on her. Tossing in her restlessness, she has turned herself upside-down, on top of quilted covers, feet dangling over the bed’s edge. I lift her in my arms and place her gently back on her pillow pulling her blankets around her.
It is such a simple, automatic gesture with which she responds. Never waking as I lift her, she pulls her arms around my back and hugs tightly, then sighs with contentment when I place her back where she belongs. It is a gesture so sweet, simple and beautiful. One of childish faith and love.
On the nights when Bri or I forget to go into Bella’s room, I hear the thump later, and I cringe. I hear the wails as I race down the hallway and smooth her curls whispering apologies. She is in pain. She has been awakened ruthlessly in her fall. She needs my comfort. In moments she is asleep again on her pillow, back in safety.
And I think about me. My restlessness. My carelessness. My falling asleep in life and dangling over the brink of sin, ready to fall.
How I long for the childish act of my daughter when my Father lifts me gently away from the edge. Instead I resist, pushing Him away and lifting my chin in defiance. I can do this on my own!
I turn away, making excuses, seeing how close to evil I can get… oh, this show is ok, it only has a “few” sexual innuendos in it and everyone else watches it… oh, I can be critical of this person, it won’t change the way I think about her in the long run… oh, I can place expectations on my husband, after all, that’s his role… oh, I can hold bitterness in my heart, I probably won’t really see that person much anyway… oh, I can ignore my work to be idle, after all, tomorrow is another day…
The beauty of relationship with Him is that He’ll never forget. In His grace, He is always there, wooing me back from the edge. Pulling me to safety. Comforting me when I fall. Putting me back on His right path.
And oh how happy I am when instead of resisting Him, I follow that path in love. No, I won’t watch this show no matter how many others do, and I will set a guard over my heart… no, I won’t be critical but remember how many failings I have… no, I won’t place unhealthy expectations on my Brian but remember his unconditional love for me… no, I won’t hold bitterness in my heart, but go back to forgiveness over and over and over… no, I won’t ignore my calling, but will work heartily as unto the Lord.
How I long for this gesture of obedience to be automatic.
Like my Bella’s arms circle me, I long for my life to wrap around Him.
And when He pulls me back to safety, I sigh contentedly, knowing I am where I belong.
Grace. Grace. It is all of grace.