“I can’t calm down unless I can see you! I need you, mommy!”
That was the screams of my six year old this evening. He was sent to his room to calm down after yelling and screaming over a little piece of candy before dinner. When he gets so upset about things he forgets to listen. And so I have tried my best to not get into a yelling match, but rather lead him to his room so he can calm himself so that we can discuss this. If you are a mom you can probably picture the scene: he screams as if I am torturing him, I am red faced from holding back my own yelling, and everyone else in the house begins hiding.
In reality, my son simply needs to calm down before he will understand a word I say. And I also need this separation so that I can think about how to explain to him what I don’t like about his behavior. This is not easy! He often continues to scream out in anger for a few minutes before he changes to screams of loneliness and fear. That’s when I hear things like, “I need you here with me!” “But I love you mom, and I just want you to come near me so I can calm down.” Its difficult to not give in when I hear this, but in an effort to teach him to self-soothe I fight my urge to run in and scoop him into my arms. My maternal instinct is to grab him in my arms and cry with him so that his little heart calms.
After tonight’s particular round of events I caught myself thinking, “Is this what God thinks of me when I go on a rant?” I can look back on the past and see this situation happening between me and God. You see, I get mad. I throw fits and yell over little things. I even get irrational by telling God how I think it should be. And when He doesn’t give in I begin to look around and think He has left me. So, though I know he is near, my cries become desperate attempts to find Him with little result. Eventually my emotions calm down and I begin to seek Him in the correct way- in church, in His word, in obeying His call even when I don’t know how. And suddenly He is there. I can feel His presence again. And just like my baby boy does to me, I find myself snuggled in His lap making up for the lost time I spent away from Him.
I wonder if He sees me like I see my child. I wonder if he is frustrated to the point that he has to let me calm myself so that he can speak clearly to me. I wonder if my cries generate a desire to scoop me up, but he waits until I am ready. I’d like to think that my maternal instincts are one of the qualities he gave me “in his image.” I know that my love for my children is a reflection of his love, therefore I am sure that this is from His love, too.
In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears Psalm 18:6