"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
A couple years ago while on a retreat I had a very powerful image of what my relationship with God the Father could be like. I was curled up like a child on His lap, with my head resting against His chest, and He had his arms wrapped around me. I wasn’t doing anything or striving for anything, my mind wasn’t wandering or worrying or planning or analyzing. I was just enjoying the feeling of being held by Him.
This image was so strong in my mind because nearly every day I find myself holding one of my own children that way.
I know what it feels like to hold a child close, to smell their hair and hear their soft rhythmic breathing, to feel their bodies get a little bit heavier when they’re totally relaxed and close to sleep. I know that to my children, I am everything they need. For me, those are some of the best moments of being a mother.
I’ve been on the parental side of this image a thousand times. I’m used to being the parent, the one who meets needs and manages problems. But to see myself as the child, totally dependent, and God as my Father, totally providing, wrecked my heart and gave me a feeling of rest that I had not experienced in a very long time.
This is the kind of relationship that God the Father is longing to have with each of us—one of total dependence and complete trust. Not one where we try to manage on our own without asking for help, struggling under the weight of all our cares.
He wants us to crawl into His lap and be carried by him. He wants us to know Him as Father, and be known as daughter. He wants to be our everything.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux offers us guidance of living "the little way" and her series of prayers show us how to stay humble and childlike before Our Lord.
Anna Coyne is a wife, mother, and convert to the Catholic Faith. She is a classically trained pianist who, after teaching for ten years now stays home with her three young children. but still manages to flex her creative muscles through writing, knitting, and gardening. She is proud to call Saint Paul home and loves everything about living in Minnesota, except for winter. You can find out more about her here.