I braided my 3 year old's wet hair into two braids this evening. We sat on her bed as she rattled off the events of her day. "We went to the gym, I got to jump on the trampoline, Justin's here to visit, Wesley hit me while we were playing, I don't think he meant to, but I pushed him back anyways, I loved those eggs from Ms Kass, I picked the first apple off our tree in the backyard!" I did my best to listen and soak up all her energy and love for the day. I tied off the end of her braids, tucked her into bed (three separate times), kissed her forehead and said goodnight as I walked out the door.
I settled into a comfy chair downstairs with my laptop to work on a project. I love my children more than just about everything in the world, but there's something pretty great about finishing up that bedtime routine. Good times.
I was about 10 minutes into my chill out time when I heard sobbing and little feet running down the stairs. She rounded the corner, saw me and ran into my arms.
"What's wrong, sweetie?"
"(sob) I heard a train! (sob) I hate that noise!"
*hugs & kisses*
"I'm surprised you heard the train over the noise of your fan."
"I didn't really hear it. I thought about hearing it and got really scared (sob)."
I was reminded again how powerful fear is. Just the thought of the things we fear most can send us into a panic.
"Mom, can you sleep with me for a little bit?"
Up the stairs we go. She tearfully climbs into her bed and clutches my hand as I lay down next to her. After 5 minutes, she turns to me and says, "Okay, I feel a little better now. You can go."
That's incarnation. I could have sat in my comfy chair downstairs and told her it would be okay. I could have rationalized with her why train noises aren't really scary. But we all know that doesn't quite cut it for a 3 year old.
God's the same with us. Our fears threaten to bring us down at every turn. And God doesn't just encourage us from the couch across the house. God comes close, through Jesus, through the holy spirit, through people, through creation, through just about anything to help us feel the presence of God. That's good news, my friends.
peace + grace,