For the last several weeks, my son has been extra clingy. It’s been kind of nice, actually, as he has been content in just being at my side, or in my lap, or holding my hand, or interrupting whatever he is doing to come up and give me a really big hug. And I’ve been happy to comply. But I also wonder about what’s going on inside of him that is making him so needy for me.
I’ve been working a lot lately. For the past three months I have been working full time at my job in a temporary position. Thankfully I move back to part time this next week, and I get Mondays off of work, giving me a three day weekend (yay!). But all Lucas has known is that I am gone almost the whole week, and it has been that way since September. His interaction with me is in the morning getting ready for school, and for three hours before bedtime. It has finally reached a head for him, and now when I am home, it is like he is soaking up lost time as furiously as he can. It also seems like he’s afraid of losing me. It seems that the poor little guy has gone through so many changes in his young life, that he is afraid that if he doesn’t hold onto me for dear life, I might leave too.
I have been taking this time just listening to him, and he has been opening up to me. He’s gotten out some pretty hard feelings that he cried about having. But I could sense the relief in him for getting these difficult feelings out, ones I know he has been conflicted in having, and I can see his healing process take place. He is finally opening up to me about things he thought I’d hate him for. I have just held him, rocked his little body, and told him I could never hate my favorite little boy in the whole world, and that I was so proud of him for understanding his feelings and being honest about them.
He’s been really emotional lately, crying at the drop of a hat over lots of things that would normally not even touch him. My role has been to be strong for him, to be the anchor he can hold onto while he misses certain parts of his life that are no longer, that he has had to become older than his 6 years to overcome.
In essence, isn’t this the role God has with us? As I have been going through my own life changes, and as I have been strong for my son, I have my own questions and feelings that would have been hard to go through on my own without an anchor. I have prayed plenty, and have felt times when God held my own body in the folds of his warmth, slowly rocking it as I cried into the robes of his breath. And in sadness, I realize he’s been there all the time, through all the changes I have gone through, and through the changes I am still going through.
Aren’t we fortunate to have a God who knows us, who cares about us, who will never abandon us in our time of need, even when we push him aside? Aren’t we fortunate to be able to be held and rocked in those times of turmoil, when we feel like the world is pushing us away, wanting nothing more to do with us?
In Buddhism they call this feeling enlightenment and Nirvana. In Christianity, they call it mysticism.
It is the feeling of God overcoming us, passing through us, proving his existance with the very presence of Him. It’s the benefit of having a personal relationship with God, and one he does not fail in giving to us. It’s what Jacob experienced when he saw God open up the Heavens. It’s what Frances of Assissi experienced when he embraced a leper and felt God’s undeniable presence,and understood his role in life serving God. It’s what Mother Theresa embraced in sharing God’s word without words to convince, but clear as day through her life of catering to the poor and forgotten. It’s what caused Moses to lead his people from slavery and oppression, and what changed Moses’ hair from dark to white upon seeing the face of God on the mountain. It’s what Abraham felt as he heard God, despite living in a land where strange Gods were worshipped, and what caused Abraham to become the father of the nations. Mysticism is what Jesus experienced in His life, and what he gave back through teaching in love, and by fulfilling the ultimate act of sacrifice so that one day we would be able to experience God face to face.
It’s what I have gone through in those times I have tuned out the distractions of this world and focused on God. It’s the feeling He washes over me, the warm feeling that radiates through my whole being as I feel Him take over my whole body, leaving no part untouched. It’s when the whole world just disappears and all I know is Him, for in that moment He is all I feel and all I hear. It is when he reassures me that He will always be my anchor, should I accept that.
This is the example I wish to give to my son in his time of need, that even though life is moving in a tornado of hurt and abandonment, confusion and disappointment, I am here, his anchor, never changing and always loving. And it is my hope that one day, when he grows too old to climb in my lap and seek comfort, he can take this relationship I have had with him and transfer it to God. It is my hope that my example will be understood by him as the love God has for us as His children, and that this love will never, ever disappear, just as my love for him will never disappear.