SNOW DAYS AND GOD’S LOVE
It’s been a long few weeks here in the Northeast, as any parent of any small child can tell you. Here in my part of Connecticut we are on snow day number TEN for the year. Lovely as my view out the window is, we were ready for spring and instead got walloped with three storms in a row, power outages, and kids who haven’t gone to school for a full uninterrupted week since October (I might be exaggerating, but I might not…).
We are at a stage in our family life where snow days aren’t as much a burden on me as they used to be. We enjoy the lazy mornings. We cuddle up and watch movies. I sneak away for a few hours to post things like this on Facebook. But now that our kids don’t need me to attend to them at every turn, now that a screen or some neighborhood friends or even a coloring book or a game with siblings can occupy them and I can do my own thing, I’ve started to think about the difference between being with them and observing them.
When I’m with them on snow days, I’m on the floor playing a matching game. I’m pretending to be Samantha, one of Marilee’s dolls. I’m reading one page out loud with Penny and then listening as she reads the next one. I’m dancing to Taylor Swift and painting fingernails. And it’s in those moments that we laugh together. It’s in those moments that they know I love them and that my love for them means enjoying who they are.
When I’m observing them on snow days, I bring my computer downstairs and they play or watch stuff or read on their own. I still enjoy them a lot of that time, but I’m not sure they receive that enjoyment. I still love them, but I’m not sure they receive that love.
Which all brings me back to the Christian idea that God is Emmanuel, which when translated means “God with us.” God is the one who gets down on the floor and plays, not the one who stands far off at a distance. God wants us to know that God loves us, God enjoys us, God listens to us.
What if God wants to be with you as a way for you to know God really loves you and takes great delight in you, like a parent who finds she actually enjoys her children?