The first invitation came on a Monday afternoon.
His miniature two-year old hands wrapped around my neck, “show?” He asked. “Of course,” I affirmed, as I pushed back the reclining chair and clicked on the remote. His head rested on my chest as his little fingers intertwined with mine.
The sweet moment was interrupted by the usual—a cellphone buzz. My immediate reaction was to get up. As my feet hit the floor, I sensed my God’s familiar voice whispering in the deepest parts of my soul, “Stay.”
After sensing the sweet command, my reaction to lie back down was more immediate than the last one. My baby cousin’s curious eyes met mine.
“You won’t get this moment again. Enjoy it. He will grow up, and these moments will only be left in your memory. Rest in it. Find Me in it.” The Holy Spirit inside of me was guiding me towards something deeper. His gentle invitation was one of life. Water filled my eyes and a “thank you” escaped my lips.
The second invitation came on a Tuesday morning.
The warm sun pressed into her wrinkled skin, and the cool breeze blew through her silver hair. We couldn’t help but to discuss the weather. Not in a small-talk kind of way—but, admiring the moments we can take full advantage of it. A few minutes went by and we sat in silence, eyes closed, half a smile on our faces.
I got up to open the door and began walking towards the kitchen, passing the small table filled with envelopes. “Check the mail. Has my 2 million dollar check come in yet?” She asked in a teasing voice. “Hmmmm, nope. Not yet. Looks like we got to make some phone calls!” I said as I looked up and caught her face—head tilted back, eyes still closed, the half-smile now full-grown. My sweet grandmother’s wrinkles telling a story of perseverance; her weary grin resting peacefully.
As I began to look away, I heard the familiar Voice once again, “Be still. Memorize her face. Tattoo that smile to your heart. You won’t get this moment again. Rest in it. Find Me in it.”
My attention was redirected and my gaze was fixed as my eyes filled with water. “Thank you,” escaped my lips once again.
As I got ready to leave, my goodbye hug held longer. I sat in my car and wept. As I come to think of it, my car has seen some of the most emotional moments in my life. There’s something about letting it all out in your car—the privacy, the solitude, the freedom to let loose. I immediately started to think about what God had to say about being still. Those two words are used so much yet can imply so many different things. Be still and rest, be still and wait, be still and know. I’ve tried so hard to induce all of these moments of stillness. I’ve actively pursued stillness. I’ve tried to wait. I’ve forced myself to rest. But unbeknownst to me, most of these moments have involved me doing.
In a world where we are defined by our doing, God let’s us know it’s okay to have moments where you are free to be.
The past few days God has asked me to do absolutely nothing but listen. I’ve learned that more so than in engaging in the moment, my dear Father is engaging me in His presence. He’s teaching me to be mindful and aware…of His voice and His gentle tug at my heart.
Dear saints, has God ever asked you to be? If so, have you listened? Let Him speak. His instruction to be still in the moment is one of gentleness, care and love.
His direction pushes us deeper. His voice leads us to experience more life.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27