Lucy and I had a "moment" today.
A little background first: Lucy loves Brian! For several weeks now every time he walks into the room or whenever she looks at a picture of him she says, "ba paw." Pointing at him with an admiring look on her sweet little face, she obviously adores him.
So when she came to our house this week I wondered if she'd like to know how to say grandma. I suggested it a few times and she looked at me with her big blue eyes with a softness that implied that the time was just not quite right. So I let it go. But today as I put her in her car seat to go home, I suggested one last time that perhaps she could say grandma, you know, like "ma maw." Her eyes fixed on mine as I said it again. "Ma maw." After a brief hesitation, out it came! "Ma maw!!" She said it and this goofy grandma gave her a delightful reaction that would point any kid straight to performance mode. "Ma maw"...and then she started to laugh and laugh. I followed suit and together we enjoyed a little moment of connection. I love this little light-bearer so much. This moment of communication was just so delightfully satisfying.
It is my goal to let this little one know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I love her. I loved her the moment I knew she existed and will continue as long as I have breath, and beyond. I know that God feels the same way about me as I feel about Lucy. I think he delights when I say his name and I laugh with him. I know he has loved me since the beginning of time and longs for me to be with him, sharing special moments of connection.
In this Lenten journey I want to keep my love for Lucy as the picture of who I am to my heavenly Father: one completely loved, unburdened with performance or expectation. Purely loved as I am. Trekking with him is made simple and gentle as a child saying "ma maw" for the first time. Only I speak Abba Father, knowing that I am his beloved.
In Abba's Child, Brennan Manning writes: "Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. God's love for you and his choice of you constitute your worth. Accept that, and let it become the most important thing in your life."
He goes on to write: "The indispensable condition for developing and maintaining the awareness of our belovedness is time alone with God...Our identity rests in God's relentless tenderness for us revealed in Jesus Christ."
As I remember the depth of love felt at the moment of Lucy's birth and the connection today as we laughed together, I will recall that I have a Father who is just as delighted in me. I am determined to get plenty of time alone with him as I travel this lenten path and beyond. I wonder what word he is waiting for me to understand and to speak?