She’s plush, warm, soft and comfy. Though she’s not as quiet as she used to be or as soft as she once was, she’s still mine; my favorite spot in the world. I cannot count how many miles I have rocked in my chair. The springs have worn down to fit the way I sit and the way I like to recline. It is the perfect spot at the end of a long day. More than just a comfortable spot, this recliner has the distinction of being where I rocked my son to sleep when he was a baby. It still has a spot in his mind as every time he and I watch movies together when he is with me, he crams his small four year old frame next to me in that green recliner. It is my throne, my spot, my comfort zone.
My favorite time as a father is the time when my son wants to be near me. Now, neither one of us are getting smaller, and when we sit in the chair together, we are indeed very near, sometimes painfully as he has some very sharp elbows. Regardless of the risk of getting my stomach stepped on, or worse the unexpected knee to the groin as he jumps into my lap, I would rather he sit in the chair with me as we watch TV. I have been giving thought as to why that is aside from the comfort of it being my chair. I think honestly, I want him that close to me because it gives me a sense of being in control. Not in a, “I have to know everything and approve it” sort of way, but in the sense that he is there in my arms and anything that seeks to harm him will have to deal with me. It is an immediate sense that he is in my protection, comfort, and love. It is a physical representation what I feel inside for my child.
As a teenager I remember many times people referring to being in the arms of God. How they rested securely in the arms of their savior. It’s an interesting metaphor. It paints the picture of God as the ultimate parent; most of the time we focus on how being in such care makes us feel. We feel comforted by the sense that we are protected by a loving Father who wants nothing but the best for his child. The idea that this all powerful benevolent force has our back is a great feeling when things in our lives begin to unravel. That is not what I want to focus on, at least not quite.
Does God feel the same sense that I have when holding my son, when He holds His children? If I take my cues from the God I serve and have this wonderful sense of joy when I have my child in my arms, does He feel the same way? I like to think that yes He does. I actually have reasons behind that besides that fact that I like to be right. The whole point of God sending His son to perform such an act of sacrifice was due to the fact we could not be near God. Our sin had separated us from Him. This was such a pain and bereavement to God that He did the unthinkable and allowed His son to be our sacrifice. Thus when we come to the point in our lives where we are actually resting in God and relying on Him, then we are fulfilling the purpose he ordained from the beginning. We, in our autonomy and free will, are spending time with God, and we are allowing God to be our father. I can think of nothing more pleasing to God than our recognition of Him as our provider, because few things in this world please me more than when my child shows me that he loves me and depends on my presence and activity in his life.
There will be a day all too soon when my son and I are no longer able to share the chair. His place will move from my lap to the couch. Beyond that his reliance on me and on his mother will lessen and his independence will grow. That is what is supposed to happen. He is supposed to grow up and be “on his own”. I use quotes because I have come to realize that because of my faith, I am never actually on my own. I can climb up in a chair that is far too large for just me alone and get into the comforting arms of my creator anytime and be reminded of how well I am cared for. I think in the end, God is happiest when we rely on Him in that full way, because then we fulfill our purpose in creation, to be with our creator.