"Mom, don't leave me! Stay with me!" begged my pre-pubescent 12-year old son.
His voice is deepening.
He's growing armpit hair (with great pride).
His public self is morphing into someone less boyish.
But on this evening of his first lacrosse practice of the fall season, he could only cry out like my young son, "Don't leave me!"
Last season Cole was the giant on the field. Though he was new to the sport, his size bred confidence. Always in the 90th percentile for height, he towered over the boys 1-2 years his junior. This fall, he bemoaned the reality that he's moving to the U13 division and has to practice with the "big guys." There is a deep chasm between the physical maturity of 7th and 8th grade boys. And tonight, some really looked big. And my 5'4" son felt small.
His desperation pierced my heart.
He always hungers for "withness." He's as much a people person as a person can be. Tonight, his cry was for me to hold his hand from my chair. To brace him with my gaze. And I was delighted to respond to his cry. It is priceless to know that my presence still offers him strength when he's intimidated and feeling small. Helps courage rise up in his spine.
My thoughts shifted abruptly to my God, which brought an acute awareness. It's not like every interaction with my kids brings these grand spiritual parallels to my mind...thus my acute awareness. Life is filled to the brim and amidst the routine, his cry jolted me.
I've never tasted how my desperate cry to the Father, "Don't leave me. Stay with me here. Now!" could fill Him with pleasure and delight. I'm usually only aware of my own desperation when that cry bursts from my heart, piercing heaven. Aware only of my need for His presence. To brace me with His gaze. To cause courage to rise up my spine. To offer me strength when I'm intimidated and feeling small.
I believe I tasted an inkling of His pleasure tonight. The deep delight He feels when we cry out, "Father, don't leave me! Stay with me!" And we know that He always does.
He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
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