Bags of groceries threatened to burst wide open as I struggled to make it from the driveway into the kitchen. It’s August, and I’m wearing a fall coat to keep me dry from the rain. Sweat is pouring down my back, and my hair is a sticky mess across my forehead.
Parking in the garage would be nice, but that is now a luxury. 3 boys in a house doesn’t go well on a rainy day. When you don’t have a basement, the garage becomes a boy’s sacred space. I blew hard trying to move the hair out of my eyes enough to see the death traps I walked through. Bats, balls, shovels, dirty cleats all somehow find a home right in the path of the door. Grumbling in my head, I took a giant lunge towards the steps leading into the safety of the kitchen where I could close the door on that nasty mess and nerve-rattling noise.
One giant step landed me right in front of the saddest looking 5-year-old I had seen in awhile. “What’s wrong, buddy?”
“Mommy, can you just leave me alone for a little while? I need to be alone.”
A highly social child that never stops talking and follows me every, single, place I go just doesn’t say things like this. It could only mean one of two things. He is about to poop in his pants or he has done something very, very, very bad. And I’m actually scared to find out.
“Why? What’s wrong? Are you about to poop in your pants?” That is the last thing I feel like dealing with on this steamy August afternoon.
“No, mom, I promise. I just…….I just need to go away for a couple of days. Not like walk the streets or anything. But like just be alone. I need to think.”
Playing along, I nodded my understanding. “Does your heart feel sad about something? Is the Holy Spirit talking to you? You know God loves to spend time alone with us. Do you think God just wants to spend some alone time with you?”
His eyes lifted higher. “I think so. I’m thinking about something I learned in church. Can you just leave me alone?”
After the groceries were unloaded, I snuggled him in bed for a little rest for him and a little break for my ears. In one week my little partner that never stops talking will be in kindergarten. I will miss these little talks. The little glimpses of his heart. I sniff in the smell of him that still reminds me of his little baby smell. I force myself to stop because if I don’t the tears will follow.
He picked up the conversation where we left off on the garage steps. “I think I need to go away to be with God.”
I can relate to his little words. Sometimes I find myself in need of a retreat. Often I wait until I’m at a point of desperation before I allow myself what feels luxurious. Time of quiet. Time of alone. Time just with God.
I start my morning with God daily. Quietly. But the day becomes noisy fast. And I forget He is still there. My waiting retreat at a moment’s notice. In the quiet moment of that room, with that still little boy tucked in close to me, I remembered. I remembered that He is there at every noisy, frustrating, sad, disappointing, stressful, and uncertain moment. He is there offering retreat from it all. Right into His arms. That is the place of true rest.
Psalm 62:1 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.
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