im here

I’m here, you’re not alone. Shhhh, now, I’m here. And with those words, I lift a crying baby up and out of her darkness. She’s unaware of where she fits in her life, perhaps, but I know just where she is. I’m never far from her, even though to her new mind I’ve disappeared every time I’m not in her line of sight, but that’s not true.

And so when she wakes up or when she’s lonely or when she’s hungry or just wants someone to hold her, to calm her heart, she cries out and I come to her and I lift her up into my arms, shhhh, I’m here, you’re not alone, I’m here, I’ve got you, I’ve got you, I say.

Oh, I’m teaching her something: I’m teaching her that I will always come for her. I’m teaching her that she is safe and secure. I’m teaching her that I am reliable, that she is believed, that I don’t believe she’s manipulating me or bossing me. I’m teaching my child that I am here and she is not alone. Dry your tears, small girl, I’m here, I’m always here. I will always come for you.

***

I’ve heard that most of our theology is autobiography. I think that’s true. I think we often project what we learned about authority or our parents, in particular, onto God. And then we often parent our children in the way that we believe God is parenting us. So if we believe God is a terrible judge with exacting standards and a trapdoor to hell, then that changes how we move through our lives, how we judge others, particularly our children. And yes, I think that damages people.

But what if we see God through the metaphor of a mother with a newborn babe? what do we see instead? After all, the metaphors for God’s love are diverse throughout Scripture but I’m often reminded in these tender days just after giving birth and caring for a newborn that I’m part of that metaphor, too, with my labour and my pain, with my ferocious protectiveness and my consuming love.

My entire body yearns for my child, watch us in these early days how we curl into each other, how I protect her, nourish her, comfort her, even how I delight in her – you’re seeing a glimpse of something divine here, I believe. Isn’t this one of the great gifts God has given us? A glimpse into how God loves us, a share of the joy, a sign and a foretaste of the Kingdom among us already. God in his goodness, sharing with us what it means to love so selflessly, so unconditionally, so completely.

***

In the Scriptures, there is one little thing often overlooked on Good Friday. In Matthew 27:51, we are told that at the moment when Jesus cried out and gave up his spirit, the moment he died, the veil in the temple that symbolically stood between God and man, the entrance to the Holy of Holies, was torn in two…from the top to the bottom.

There is no barrier between us anymore, the Holy of Holies is open to us all and it’s not because of anything we did or didn’t do. Because this was a rescue, this was redemption, this was the death that made death die, this was the moment when all of creation was redeemed as Jesus swept into the domain of death and hell, suffering and sickness, sin and horror, to cure us and then rise again victorious, Christus Victor.

And when I think of that veil being torn from the top to the bottom, now I imagine God sweeping into the world, like a mother to her crying child in the darkness with that physical yearning, gathering us up out of our loneliness and our hunger, our longing and our needs to whisper: I’m here, I’m here, you’re not alone, I’m here. I’ve got you, I’ve got you, I’ve got you, darling, I’m here.

photo by sharalee prang photography

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  • Tracey

    That frames what I’m going through a little differently than I’ve thought of before. I’m shifting to a caretaker of my parents and my extended family is not around or are waiting like vultures for a feast that won’t be there.

  • Stunning, Sarah. So good.

  • Megan S.

    So beautiful. My husband and I were just talking about this with our own newborn this morning. How she is learning to trust us and the longing we have to care for her and meet our needs. How fitting to see God’s love for us in the relationship with a new baby.

  • I love you beyond words. This is exactly my experience as well: as I mother my children, I hear God whisper to me, “I love you even more than this. I will come for you even more than you do for them. I cherish you and I am for you and I will always be here.” We are rescued and known and loved and we belong now. Kingdom come.

  • April Hunter

    beautiful Sarah…thank you…I am so grateful you have an audience and that your words are out there…..reaching new mothers…reassuring them, empowering them with a different message than the one they so often hear from others, especially Christians……So beautiful.

  • This is simply beautiful. What a wonderful reminder for us on this Easter weekend! I was introduced to your blog a few weeks ago, and your writing is such a tremendous blessing! Happy Easter!

  • Catherine

    You are a beautiful writer. I was also introduced to your writing a few weeks ago, I have enjoyed everything I have read thus far. Many blessings to you and your family this weekend and always!

  • That’s absolutely beautiful

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  • Julie Hoenig

    Beautiful insight <3

  • Amber

    Thank you so much for your last posts. They have been so encouraging this week.

  • Sandy Jones Fox

    This is one of the loveliest thIngs you have ever written. Thank you.

  • I love this. I loved caring for my babies and have often had similar thoughts- thanks for giving words to them. I love the simplicity of mothering the early stages- no discipline- just love 🙂

  • This is stunningly, beautiful writing.
    And I really, really needed to read this.
    Thank you – I shall be chewing on this awhile.

  • pastordt

    Yes. And thank you.

  • Nika

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Sarah.

    All the best,
    Nika

  • Jory Micah

    Oh my goodness, this made me tear up several times which is funny considering I am surrounded by high school students in my classroom! I am going to share on my ministry fb page! I love this post SO much!!!

  • Emma Nicks

    Thank you for this beautiful writing. I love that as a mother, in the nights when everyone else is asleep we meet those needs – just as Jesus now does for all of us who accept him into our lives.

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  • I love your last line– the intimacy of it all that I can tend to forget about…God has felt a little bit far away on some days lately, even though I know He is not. We have three children, the youngest of which is now two, and I feel like God teaches me a little bit something about how much He loves me every day through my love and interactions with my own children.

  • marlen816

    That is my father’s favorite part of the story of salvation. Growing up Catholic, he always felt inhibited having to confess his sins to a priest. When he realized that God torn the curtain that separated us from the High Priest, he fully accepted Christ’s redemption for his life. I love that part of Good Friday.

  • Beautiful post. I think having children taught me more about relating to God than anything else. God as love became clear.

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