Two weeks ago, while my son and very pregnant daughter-in-law were still packing up in the Texas piney woods for their move to the far southern regions of the state, Isaiah and Elyse stayed with me for three nights. To capture fully the heart of this picture, you must envision an 18 month old and a 2Ĺ year old deprived of a bathtub.
I live in a house built the same year I was born where for over a year the bathroom with the tub has not worked. Gratefully, I donít need to rely on a sink and a washcloth, or a wooden tub in front of a blazing fireplace.
Iíve another bathroom Ö with a shower. Elyse loves the shower; she has for over a year. She sings, often at the top of her lungs, and dances in the rain, spinning round and round and round, hands uplifted all the while trying to capture every drop. Getting her to come out is the challenge. Isaiah is another story. Iíd hoped putting Elyse into the shower first, where her obvious joy mixed jubilantly with the showers, might, just might, spill over unto Isaiah when he joined her. NOT!
I didnít know whether to laugh or cry Öor somehow indulge in both. From the moment the first droplet bounced off the tile floor onto Isaiahís little body, his screams drowned out hers Ö with on singular difference. Absence of any peace or joy, let alone enjoyment, marked Isaiahís cries.
ďHeíp me! Heíp me! Dada, heíp me!Ē reverberated off every wall, drowning out my own words of comfort. His were not quiet imploring words, but rather strident, demanding shrieks. There simply was no consoling Isaiah as those gentle, cleansing waters fell. No words of assurance brought peacefulness to his little heart. Not until Iíd gathered up into my arms his little towel-draped body did his cries weaken and finally stop. Only then, at rest at last, did a sweet smile returned to his little face.
All the while, Elyse, face often turned upward, reveled in the cleansing rain. Her voice filled the cubicle with her gleeful laughter, while she graced the tiles beneath her feet with such joyful dancing I couldnít help but glory, myself, in her submissive delight to the gentle power of those cleansing waters.
For three nights, my heart drank in this unchanging lesson, unaware there even was one. It wasnít until later, until after I took my grandchildren to their new home. On my two-hour return drive back to my home, reflecting on my time with the babies, I began to relive the nightly shower episodes. Only this time, it wasnít Elyse, or Isaiah, beneath the cleansing waters.
It was me standing there, beneath that cleansing flow. At times, like Elyse, I realize my soul rang with joyous gratitude Ö my face turned upwards, arms stretched delightfully overhead trying to capture every droplet, feet dancing with unrestrained songs of thanksgiving.
More often, my own cries echoed Isaiahís. Inconsolable. Without understanding or gratitude. Or even the awareness that I frantically fought the necessary cleansing of the showers of Godís truth. Heavenly ears lovingly bore the heartbreaking pain of my own pleas, pleas every bit as desperate as Isaiahís.
Heíp me! Heíp me! Dada, heíp me!
I realized, then, as I reflected on my own life through this shower filter, that Iíd never been without my Fatherís help, my Fatherís safekeeping, my Fatherís gentle embrace or soothing voice. Whether Iíd gloried in the moment like Elyse, or fearfully fought against it like Isaiah, my Fatherís love for me never wavered Ö neither did His faithful presence both with me and for me.
Such, I picture my life. I know it a true picture, a faithful picture. In many ways, we never stop being children before God. Most often, when faced with the choice between Eden and Gethsemane, Edenís garden seems so much more delightful. But, our soul, frolicking in Edenís self-delight, becomes soiled, and we donít even realize it. When Love brings His cleansing showers, we fight them, we fear them, even as His arms wrap gently, lovingly around us.
ďFather God, how often I have brought You to a place where You donít know whether to laugh or cry over my apparent fear of a touch I donít understand and canít avoid. Your touch, meeting a need unperceived by my childish understanding, cleansing me, covering me with the sweet aroma of Redemption Wine. Thank You that in those moments of my confusion and my fear, You wrap me securely in the comfort of Your grace and whisper soothing words to my heart. One day, Lord, I will know I need only stretch my arms upwards within those blessed showers, capturing every drop of mercy, and set my feet to dancing in the glory of Your love for me. Until that day, thank You for Your patience with this heart still fascinated by Eden but longing more and more for Gethsemane. Ē
"...yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so." I sit here, looking over at my grandson in his swing every once in a while and starting over on the words, "Jesus loves me, this I know..." Finally, he begins to rest... finally... taking comfort for his sick tummy from his grandma's singing. I read your other article and it touched a place so deeply in me. I wanted to leave you a comment, but then I got this error message that internet explorer had to shut down, my grandson started crying, he soiled his diaper so badly I had to strip him down completely, and he wanted to be soothed. So, until a moment ago, I sat rocking him, unable to type, singing to him... and as I sang, the Lord spoke to me... "Jesus loves me, this I know... YOU, just as you are... for the Bible tells me so... not a man that I should lie... Little ones to Him belong... You are Mine, little one, even when you want to do things your own way. See, even the disruption of your plans was My doing. It wasn't the way you'd have done it, but it was for your good... They are weak but He is strong... I've set the course. It's perfect. And I'm strong enough to see you through it. Come here, into My arms and take comfort.... Yes, Jesus loves me... Yes. Yes and amen. Always yes and amen to you, My little one. Always yes and amen... Yes, Jesus loves me." Thank you, Sis, for your obedience. Looks like there's a pretty tough storm headed this way. Gotta get out on the highway in a little while to take my son to the orthodontist. Will likely have to drive in the rain. Not the way I'd personally have it. But I wonder... where will my thoughts be as the rain falls down all around me.........