“Will you hold me a little bit longer? I love it in your arms.”
Ever whispered these words, prayed them, felt them pounding in your chest?
God, I have.
My 8-year-old daughter spoke them to me two nights ago. I’d picked her up from the floor to put her in her bed. Routine stuff. Right after “Have you brushed your teeth?” and “What’s all this stuff all over your floor?”
But she caught me off guard. “Will you hold me a little longer, Daddy? I love it in your arms.”
As a dad, I teach, read, listen, drive, correct, clean, sign permission slips, check over homework, drive some more, shush, clean some more, enforce table manners, and pray.
I. try. so. hard.
And still, none of this can do what my arms can do.
And so I stayed. Held her in my arms. Close. Felt her little frame against my chest, felt the weight of her head on my shoulder, heard her breathe.
We’re incarnational creatures, my daughter and I. And without doing, just by being with her, close to her, I knew something was happening. Something was shared. Something was given. Something was received. Something good.
Today, I see beneath so much of my effort, my striving, my trying, I remain like a little boy whispering, “Will you hold me? I love it in your arms.”
God knows. He designed us this way. He loves these little spirit-body creatures stamped with his own image. He loves us so much he became enfleshed to come close.
Have you whispered words longing to be held? Prayed them? Felt them pounding in your chest? God knows there is love only His arms can do.
Maybe when it’s all said and done, this is why I follow Jesus—why I’m a Christian. Because Jesus came in the flesh, died and rose in the flesh, ascended in the flesh, and will return for us in the flesh. Because underneath so much of my trying, I’m a little boy whispering, “Will you hold me? I love it in your arms.”