It was a church service focused around God's deep and unconditional love for us. There were beautiful songs of worship. There was a message was on John 15, "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love." There was a touching reading of Sarah Bessey's piece, "You're already so loved."
Then, there was a time of silence. It was in that space of quiet that Love came alive to me.
In the silence I heard a small voice in the back of the room plead, "Mommy, will you kiss it?"
It's difficult to know how to pray when it comes to our own lives.
It can be easier, in some ways, to pray for the illnesses of others or the brokenness of the world. We can see from the outside how things are not the way they are supposed to be. We can love others as we lift them up to God.
Loving ourselves through prayer is much more complicated. It's easy to worry about being selfish or narrow-minded. What do we ask for if God already knows what we need? Aren't we asked to be patient and dependent? Shouldn't we just pray "Your will be done" over and over again?
Maybe. If that's really how we feel. Often, though, prayers like that aren't from the honesty of our own heart, but from a perception of what God is like and what God expects us to be like.
"Daddy, will you kiss it?"
It is our uncertainty about God's answer to that question that holds us back in our prayers. In so many ways, it's what we really want to know.
God, will you pause what you are doing, come down to my level, look in my eyes, and acknowledge my pain? Will you honor my requests, whether lofty or silly, with gentleness and compassion? Will you hold me in your arms, and tell me it's going to be okay? Even if the actual healing will take time and work, will you give me strength by kissing my soul with your love?
Daddy, sometimes the tender places aren't where I have already tumbled, but where I fear I might fall if I try. My hopes and dreams are aching for reassurance. Will you kiss those too? Will you run beside my bike without training wheels, holding the seat until I am ready for you to let go? Will you cheer me on? If I fall, will you help me get back up? If I get lost, will you show me the way?
God, do you love me like a good Daddy and a good Mommy?
In the silence, I heard a child ask, "Will you kiss it?"
In my heart, I heard the voice of God whisper "Yes."
In my soul, I felt a tender kiss.