I lay down on the bed beside him and his tiny hands grip my neck and pull. We laugh, noses touching and he asks me "Why?" when I say that he's little.
"Well, your legs are shorter than mine, your arms are shorter, your head is smaller..."
He's little, but he's big and we tell him he's big so he'll want to stop wearing nappies. How does he not get confused?
I know him, I absorb him, I enjoy him as we compare limb length and kiss goodnight. And tomorrow there'll be new glints of him in our touch and talk.
I started reading Matthew last year, winding through to twenty-eight and back to one again. Finding familiar and new, striking and puzzling side by side. I searched for the deeper meaning, struggled to hold the whole piece in my mind to grasp its uniqueness. Perhaps I strived to be a gnostic and find the hidden secret.
It wasn't till I read Redemption that it crept on me. The secret was not hidden, in fact it was more about revealing, about meeting and seeing. About listening and touching.
The purpose of life is not to be a better person, or to find more theological secrets. The purpose of life is to spend it with God. The purpose of faith is not me transcending myself, it is about me finding myself in the presence of God.
The purpose of reading Matthew, is not mining for nuggets.
Reading Matthew is sitting on a hillside and eating a feast with five thousand people, or waking in a storm to see the waves suddenly calmed. It's sitting and listening as Jesus forgives, or heals or even rebukes. It is being in the presence of God, the Son.
God is with us, and reading his story is not just an intellectual exercise. It's a little like lying on the bed saying goodnight. It's that time when you meet someone face to face and give them your full attention. You get to know them by seeing them live, by stopping and listening to them.
Anything we gain in pursuing God is hollow without God himself. The fact that he is with us, within us by his Spirit and present before us in the person of Jesus, is miraculous and life-giving.
"we don't just get peace from God; God is our peace - he gives us himself.
We don't just get joy from God; he is our joy - he gives us himself."
p161 Redemption by Mike Wilkerson.
I'm linking with Emily for the last Imperfect Prose for a while. I'm excited that the break's because she's writing a book.