I got to watch my nephew, Joshua Kim, tonight. He was having a hard time going to bed (There is something so stirring about hearing a baby’s cry when he can’t fall asleep). At the instruction of my sister, I gave him a bottle and laid him down; no relief. I then gave him the remainder of the bottle. I turned off his noise-maker and just sat in silence with him as I laid him in his crib. This wasn’t the first time I had done this, so I decided to go with my secret weapon: patting his bottom. He quieted down as the noise-maker stopped static-ing and I stopped talking; it was just… presence. His eyes were fully awake, but he was calm and he even held my finger for a bit. I stayed there with him for a good ten minutes, amazed to see how not unlike him I am. In fact, the same cry of Joshua resides in my own heart. I felt the words quietly slip off my tongue, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5). Perhaps all Joshua wanted was somebody there to just be with him. To be truly alone is dreadful indeed. After patting him for a good while, I slowly got up and sat in the rocking chair next to the crib. I wasn’t going to leave him.
Perhaps, amid all that jumble and muddle of noise we surround ourselves with is a whimpering cry for the Lord’s presence and acceptance that would hold us and never leave us. You are a gaping thirst for God. You need, therefore you seek. All I can say right now is just the invitation the Lord is extending to me, “Let me be with you”. That is really how he feels about us in our crying and whimpering. What I felt with Joshua is but a glimpse of what my Father in heaven feels towards me. Amid all the noise of things we have to do and people we should minister to, could we stop and just be with the One who loves us and accepts us regardless of what we do? I often find myself unable to minister to others when I have not first been with God as a son and a friend. To let that cry for acceptance (presence) come out is vulnerable indeed, but God loves the true you, not what you do. Maybe the story of a child will give you enough boldness to come as one and to cry as one.