Scolded. I was scolded by my oldest daughter Emily for not calling her enough. It made me so very happy. Not to be scolded, exactly, but that our bond is so close and deep that she needs me almost as much as I need her. I have tried to give my daughters space to grow and despite my need to hover, I have tried to back off. What a joy to be in trouble for backing off.
When we talk, she often asks me "where did that comes from?" to indicate some quirky trait that she blames me or her dad for. I am thrilled to take the blame. I am thrilled that my children want to talk with me, and care what I am doing, and how things are going for us. I talk with all our girls regularly, and I secretly wish I could own a complex of buildings, so we could all live in proximity and talk in person every day. I know there are many parents and children who are not able to speak to one another - who live without the indications of a love so deep it is embedded in the soul. I am blessed that we can talk and share. I daily ache for their noise and laughter, the arguing and tussling, the battling for control of remotes and meals. And I am grateful for every moment we have together, whether in the same space or not.
I imagine God, as a parent, a parent who daily longs for their children. Grown children, who are not to be controlled but enjoyed. A God who delights in the noise and the tussles, the tears and the laughter. To me, the heart of God is the joyous ache of an eternal, deep love which wants us to be happy and to know we are loved. Even when I don't call, this parent is constantly thinking and praying for her daughters. How much more so is a loving God, concerned and hovering over the children of this world. Brand new and grown and everyone in between.
Today, I want to rejoice in a God whose perfect love is demonstrated in very human and imperfect parents and children. I want to love a little bit like that, love like a hovering mama bear who is vigilant, nurturing and who loves fiercely, even when separated by caverns and time. "Where did that come from, Emily?". That kind of love can only come from God. I pray that today, I can have the courage to love family and strangers with a small measure of that perfect love which casts our fear, distance and all the broken pieces that try keep us apart.