“But now that we truly know him and understand how deeply we’re loved by him, why would we, even for a moment, consider turning back to those weak and feeble principles of religion, as though we were still subject to them?” Galatians 4:9 (TPT)
There’s this kind of lovely unsaid interaction that happens when you let a kid know you’ve seen them. Their eyes light up when they see you’ve heard their hot off the press unedited comment about Polly the parrot, or Doug the digger.
You smile because you appreciate their honest true-to-themselves perspective, and they smile back – not so much because of Polly or Doug (as important as they are), but it’s in this being seen they begin to learn their perspective matters, that they are worth listening to.
I think it’s within our healthy human (not just child) DNA to always reflect back to others something, and not only that but be shaped by how others have or haven’t responded to our presence in the past. I still as an adult, whether I like it or not, feel more confident to be brave with who I am, when there’s a cheerleader friend on the side.
The question is – who and what do you sense responding to YOU when or just before you ‘step into the room?’ Before anyone says anything – what do you sense? Does it make you want to smile back? To move in towards? Or does it make you want to duck and hide out safe?
When the call to be brave arises, instead of feeling or sensing whatever it is that sends us hiding into the shadows, what would it be like to instead feel the consistent gaze of Love upon us? That not only what we say, but who we are really, really matters?
What we say and do is secondary – a mere response to something deeper we know to be true. Is what you know good? Lovely? Admirable? Is it really true? (Phil 4:8) Would Love change how we hold ourselves? Would it give us the courage to speak? To move in? To ‘step into the room?’ To be known? If so, perhaps that’s indication enough that there’s more space for love in our lives. And that’s pretty good news for us all.
If we knew Love as our primary first responder, how would that change how we live our today? Its just that Love? I think that’s God, The Divine here-with-us God. Love is what encompasses and guides every part of him, and if we can lean back into what is our very human (and so often messy) personhood, knowing his divine presence is the water that will guide us along, so too will we become more open to resting as human-selves that matter, in the waters of his presence.