**Alternately titled, “Pardon Me, But I Believe That’s My Face You’re Using as a Pillow!”**
I heard a remarkable thing today. I heard a perspective on a worn out worship song that was brand new to me. I heard a man get up and say, that anytime he thinks of his mom, he thinks of faithfulness. And that always, always leads him back to God’s faithfulness. Incredible. Here is a mom whose life is a signpost directing her children back to the one who is the definition of faithfulness:
— faith·ful·ness noun
synonyms faithful, loyal, constant, staunch, steadfast, resolute mean firm in adherence to whatever one owes allegiance. faithful implies unswerving adherence to a person or thing or to the oath or promise by which a tie was contracted <faithful to her promise>. loyal implies a firm resistance to any temptation to desert or betray loyal to the czar>. constant stresses continuing firmness of emotional attachment without necessarily implying strict obedience to promises or vows <constant friends>. staunch suggests fortitude and resolution in adherence and imperviousness to influences that would weaken it staunch defender of free speech>. steadfast implies a steady and unwavering course in love, allegiance, or conviction <steadfast in their support>. resolute implies firm determination to adhere to a cause or purpose resolute ally>.
A resolute ally.
Every morning baby Micah wakes up around 6am and expects a bottle in bed with us. He usually gets it too. But it comes with both an upside and a downside. Once he is done pounding his milk, he rolls over and launches his chubby self in my direction. In the pre-dawn darkness he snuffles his way over to me until he finds my face (preferably my cheek) and then he settles his own fat little cheek right over mine, sighs deeply, and falls into a contended sleep. Flattering, right? Yes, that’s the upside.
But here’s the down side, have you ever tried to sleep while someone is snoring on your face? It’s not comfortable. Your neck inevitably ends up with a crick in it. Your shoulder starts to ache after a while and your arm falls asleep. Not to mention how unpleasant it is to have your little darling’s favorite bedraggled toy muffling your air passages.
But do I move the little bedhog? Do I shift him aside as soon as he is sleeping? Do I pull the old “hug and roll”? Nope, I don’t. Because I know that for him to get that precious extra hour of sleep little Micah needs it to be as up close and personal as possible. Just try and gimmy him out of face range and he will awaken immediately. And he will wail. And it won’t be pretty. He will fix me with a damp, blue glare that says, “how could you do that to me? Why would you abandon me like that when all I’m asking for is a little face time?”
Suffice to say I’ve learned that lesson the hard way.
So, instead, I lay there while his warm breath is puttering in and out over my face and I rest. I don’t actually have anything remotely resembling deep, restful sleep. But I do rest. In my spirit I feel profoundly at peace. I am filled up by the knowledge that this tiny human being considers himself the center of my universe. He believes I have no needs outside of his, no interests beyond his own, and no personal space that I don’t mind sharing.
His is mini-me – modeling my own self-absorbed and totally involved attitude towards my Heavenly Father. He is a living picture of how easily I assume that the sun will rise and the rain will fall. That I will have meaningful work and kids I adore. How I expect there to be food in the fridge and gas in the car. And how, throughout all this provision, I will be blessed and challenged and fulfilled and stimulated and loved by those around me. I take utterly for granted on a regular basis all that I have and all that I am. I rarely remember how remarkable it is that my heart beats without my thinking about it, that my lungs breathe, that my legs run. I am a living, miraculous design and I am totally laissez faire about it.
And while I know that the Christ wants me to grow into an awareness of all he is to me and all that he hopes for me (much as I do for Micah) I also know that he is content to revel in the intimacy of my childlike dependence that relies heedlessly on him. And he has proved himself faithful.
He has shown me through the living parable of motherhood how tender, patient and passionate his love is. Because I am a mom, I believe in all he is, all he has created, and all that he has done more profoundly and more truly than I ever knew possible. If you asked me when I became a Christian, I would say it’s hard to remember. Having grown up in a Christian home I think it was by process of osmosis. I can never remember a time when I didn’t consider myself a Christian. If you asked me when it was that my faith became real, I would say it was one week after I turned 18 – the day my mom died. And if you asked me when I got my first glimpse into the enormity of Christ’s faithful, resolute love for me, I would say it was when I became a mother.
Great is thy faithfulness,
Great is thy faithfulness.
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed, thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness
Lord, unto me.
May my life be a signpost that points my kids in his direction, so that they also, always know that their God is faithful. And on the off chance that the need arises, may they be prepared to offer someone their face for a pillow!
I love you my boys, and am so glad I get to celebrate this day because I have you!