Today I am a nurse for the sick.
There are two that are home today with very congested noses and lots of coughing. Lila says, “You know, I’m really not feeling well. I don’t want to get anyone else sick so today we shouldn’t go to any parties or any stores.” She must be unwell because this is a child who loves to be out and about and in the midst of life.
Today, we are laying low, staying home, catching up chores between nose wipes and drinks of water.
I am sitting at the table, working on the coupons….clipping, sorting, getting the list together in the hopes that I might make it to the grocery store sometime soon. Every so often, I notice a little presence at my side. It is Claire, coming to give me a drive by hug. She runs over (she runs everywhere, she is never still, even now when she’s not feeling well), leans her little baby head on my leg, pats with one hand and squeezes my shirt with the other. The she looks up expectantly and smiles big.
She has learned to hug.
This is a milestone because this is my one who was never a snuggler. She fought against breastfeeding because she couldn’t face out and see the world. She doesn’t want to be snuggled when she gets hurt because she has to go back and overcome the thing that hurt her. She will not waste time lazing in Mama’s lap because she is busy.
But today, I notice that Claire has learned to hug.
I am surprised by how often she comes running over for hugs. And it’s every time the same- little head against Mama’s leg, pat with one hand, squeeze with the other and an expectant smile.
I think to myself, “She’s giving me hugs not because she necessarily wants hugs…but because she loves my reaction.” She has learned that her hugs automatically guarantee her my undivided attention and approval…even my joy. She has learned that hugs are good because I’ve taught her that they are with my response. She has learned that something she didn’t think she wanted will give her something she very much does want. That something she has resisted is good.
And all of a sudden, things are upside down. She is teaching me something.
I have lately learned that running to God gives me something I want and need. If I come to Him in all my running and striving and rushing around and just take a second for a hug…He always gives me His attention and His affection. In these past weeks, ever since my table fell down, I am learning to hug God.
I almost laugh at the notion. I am like my little toddler…too busy to just sit with Him, too busy doing things my own way, too busy rushing around and wrecking things. But I’ve learned, just as my little Claire has, that taking a second for a little hug is sweet and profitable.
What a gracious God…He does what we as parents should always do. When I arrive at His side and lay my head against Him, He stops what He’s doing and He says, “Yes, I love you. You are good. You are precious. You give me joy.” He feels the same love and tenderness for me that I feel for Claire. He is glad for the outflow, for the expression of love and affection. He gives me His approval and I smile.