I’m washing crusty marinara sauce from a plate that sat too long when she wraps her little arm around my thigh. “Come with me, Mommy,” she beckons.
“Just as soon as I finish these dishes,” I tell her.
“No, Mom – now. You have to come now,” she begs.
She’s been playing on the deck, and I’m sure there’s a caterpillar making an escape or a tower built of rocks on a patio chair. I really just want to clean the kitchen. But when I look into those sparking blue eyes, gazing up from the floor like a fairy, I surrender my desire and pursue hers.
She leads me by the hand through the open screen door, to the far corner of the deck, just as I expected. But what she shows me is not what I expected. Not at all.
The sky is a color I can’t even name – some combination of indigo, magenta, and coral. Clouds like translucent fingers reach to each other along the black horizon in shades of lavender. The sun is gone, but from where it descended, a white glow rises from the tree line as if Christ might come on his white horse, right through that blazing chasm, and call the trumpet to sound. To top it all off, the moon is high in the northern sky, white on navy, a contrast as stark white lilies on black water.
“Let’s go to the yard where we can see it better,” she suggests, eyes still dancing.
Hand in hand, we walk to the lawn, cool with the dew of night already settling upon it. We stand there, holding hands, just staring out at the glory of it all. “I think God did this just for us,” she says, almost in a whisper, not wanting words to interrupt the moment. She’s five, but she knows big things.
“I think so too,” I whisper in response.
We stand until the chill of evening drives us back into the house, and I leave the dishes in the sink. We sit on the couch and read the story of creation for the hundredth time. She asks for it so often I can speak it without looking at the pages now.
It’s not until later, after the bath and the snack and pulling the sheet up right to her neck, that the fullness of the evening captures me. While I was busy with my everyday life, God was pursuing me. He pursued me through the sky, painted like a dream. And he pursued me through a child, reminding me what it means to pause and look to him.
This must be what it means to pray without ceasing, I tell myself. To never stop pausing to acknowledge what he’s doing in my midst. To stop missing sunsets and tender moments. To live with a constant awareness of his presence with me and a consistent rule of pausing to give him my full attention.
I walk to the window and look at the moon, shining in all its God-given glory, the shadow of the earth hiding half its face. I think of the creativity of the One I worship. My breathing slows. I sense he is pleased. In the fullness of his pleasure, I turn toward the kitchen, dip my hands in cold dish water, and keep scrubbing the marinara sauce.
The God of the universe is inviting each of his children to encounter him in a thousand different ways. He wants us to encounter him in the mundane moments of our ordinary lives: in our dish washing, laundry folding, and our driving to work. He wants to pour his love out on us in the joyful moments and surround us with compassion in the broken moments.
This is a space dedicated to going deeper in relationship with him, exploring the ways he invites us to encounter him in our everyday lives. I plan to post every Wednesday, and I look forward to meeting with you in this place often. Thanks for sharing the journey with me.