When I stand in church on Sunday mornings my arms are full of a boy who doesn’t realize that he is no longer a baby. Two and a half and I cherish his stubborn instance that he and I are still just one heart beating in two (barely) separate bodies.

My arms are full of my Micah on Sunday mornings.

And my heart feels the worship in ways it doesn’t when those same arms are empty.

The top of his head fits perfectly underneath my chin and with one hand he clutches his baby bear and with the other he oh-so-softly pats my back – right at the tippy-top of my shoulder blades.

I rock him and sing praise for his maker into an ear hidden behind soft curls that brush my top lip and tickle my nose. And suddenly, suddenly all those great and powerful phrases like “sacrifice” and “loves like a hurricane” and “blessed be the name of the Lord” take on Technicolor meaning.

With this boy wrapped in my arms, this flesh and blood and bone that I grew in my womb, clinging to me I understand what the God parent feels for me – to die for this love – yes, it makes sense.

I sing and I ache and I know that He loves me like this. This wrenching tugging at the gut as we rock and the drums beat and Graham leads us to sing off our fear, our failures our despair. I am Micah and Micah is me in this moment and the music wraps up and around us both until my head floods with the knowledge that this is how I am held. This is how.

And to do it, the Heavenly Father had to unwrap His arms from around His only Son. Unmake the closeness. Break more than the ties of flesh and blood. And Heaven itself cracked open when he let go of His Son and reached for me.

I stand. I stand in the worship with one arm cupped around my boy and the other reaching up and out to Him. Desperate not to disappoint. Desperate to catch hold of the hand He offers. Desperate to whisper my thanks. In the music, in the small words, in the rocking of the baby who is becoming a boy, I pour out my gratitude.

And my arms, how they ache with the weight of it.

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