When I think of God's tenderness and the satisfying feeling I get when feeling God's protection, I think about the times when I have prayed with my sons. I have a mental picture of times when they were both around three years old.
My older son, as a toddler, would gather all his stuffed toys and place them in a circle in the stair's sunny landing. He'd invite me to come and join them and talk about God. I'd find a spot, usually between Rilla the gorilla and the as-yet-to-be-named orangutan, and we would riff on all the many qualities of God...Love, Truth, Spirit. We talked about how good God is, and how God loved everyone. In his little world, he was full of knowing God's safety and Love's ever present joy. In my prayer, I knew exactly the same thing.
In another recurring event, my youngest would sit with me while I did my morning prayer work. He would gather his legos, and plop down on a sunny spot on the carpet, next to me, sitting in the oversized family chair. Feeling peaceful, my toddler son would create and discover new forms with his legos, actively engaged in his work, wordlessly confident that as is well. And I would be praying as he would be playing and I realized that we were both discovering new dimensions of God's creativity and love, actively engaged in knowing that all is well.
A friend once said that there was nothing more satisfying than being in a house of sleeping children. I knew she meant more than just having some quiet. (Although that was always welcome.) But it was more about a reminder that we are all God's children, "cared for, watched over, beloved and protected". (See Christian Science Hymnal, No. 278). Sometimes, it takes a little child to remember what is so naturally known to children, and that persistently applies to all of us.
A song for all of us children:
Pilgrim on earth, home and heaven are within thee,
Heir of the ages and child of the day.
Cared for, watched over, beloved and protected,
Walk thou with courage each step of the way.
Truthful and steadfast though trials betide thee,
Ever one thing do thou ask of thy Lord,
Grace to go forward, wherever He guide thee,
Gladly obeying the call of His word.
Healed is thy hardness, His love hath dissolved it,
Full is the promise, the blessing how kind;
So shall His tenderness teach thee compassion,
So all the merciful, mercy shall find.
Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016