Yesterday John Paul had a trip to the doctor’s office that included three immunizations, blood being drawn, and a lot of poking and prodding. Needless to say, it was a bit rough for him (and me!). But the good news is that he’s doing great. For a boy who was born under six pounds and who spent six weeks in the NICU, being in the 50% for height, weight, and head size, as well as being on target developmentally, is especially wonderful news!
All John Paul wanted to do when we got home from the doctor’s office yesterday was snuggle. He was tired, but too upset to sleep on his own in his crib. He wanted to be close to me, and I to him. Yet, as we rested on the chair together into a second hour, I started to get anxious. I began making a list in my head of all the things I needed to do before we left for our trip back to Notre Dame this weekend, and after that, I began thinking of all the things I could get done while John Paul napped (which he normally doesn’t do during the day). Just as I was about to attempt to transfer John Paul to his crib, I stopped myself. I looked down at my son, sound asleep with his cherub mouth open (just like his dad) and his thick lashes fluttering, and made myself clear my mind and take it all in. Even though I swore while I was going through chemo that after it was over I’d make sure to appreciate every moment, there are so many times when I fail, and unknowingly fall back into hurrying away my life, worrying about all the things I think I need to do or should be doing.
But these moments when our breath melds together with the breath of another, when the cares of this world fade away, and when time seems to stand still – when we’re completely connected to another human being – are so few and precious. For, “… you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” James 4:14
I’ve always loved Psalm 46: Be still and know that I am God. And I always thought that to be still and be with God meant I needed to be in active prayer-either saying words to God, listening for His, or being in His physical presence. But I’m continuously realizing that being still with another person, who is made in the image of our Lord, as we all are, is being with God. As my son and I rested on the chair for hour upon hour, we weren’t just spending time with one another. We were spending time with God, being still, basking in His presence.
My prayer for you today is that you spend time with God, whether that be in active prayer, or by soaking in His love and presence by spending precious time with another person. And in your busy life, when you stumble upon a moment when time seems to stand still and you feel completely connected to another human being, don’t rush time away. Rather, bask in it, letting yourself experience just a small sliver of what we’ll experience one day in Heaven.