James runs past the front door of our church to find his coat. He sort of skids when he looks up and sees Jesus standing outside the tomb.
James slows, then stops, and pivots long enough to find the holes in the feet, and the ones at the wrists. He soaks up the image in the painting, quietly, without the help of adults. And then he’s off running again.
Sometimes it feels impossible to keep up with a three-year-old.
The next day I’m wrestling the boys on our bed. The hits are getting harder and louder. Henry takes a blow to the chin. “Daddy,” he says, “I think we should do something else now.” He grabs the children’s bible from the nightstand. Immediately, both boys snuggle up against me with warm bodies, racing hearts, and perfect faith.
Days later, I look outside my classroom window. The snow blows sideways and falls without hitting the ground. The wind carries it all away, far past the frames of these two windows. I can’t even see where this snow lands.
After school, I lock my classroom door. The hallway is quiet except for a few wrestlers running the halls. As I walk away from my door, I hear the security camera move. It always watches me from behind a black eye.
And then I go home to spend the weekend painting walls. Here, the furniture gets blown sideways, too, until the pieces form ten-foot drifts in distant rooms. I just keep my eyes on the brushstrokes and drips.
Up and down is enough movement for me.
Suddenly, it all falls apart, though. In an empty room. Without being touched, the contents of a cabinet shatter on the floor after a shelf breaks loose. Plates and dishes and two glass water pitchers. Favorite water pitchers. Loud. Like an end-of-the-world loud, but localized to a kitchen cabinet. So maybe this is where the end will begin …
Glass is everywhere.
Later, after sharing a conversation about the attachment theory of parenting young children, my wife and I turn to our three-year-old son and ask him if he feels attached. “Yes, I do.” He doesn’t seem worried at all.
We try another question. “To whom?”
So now as I sit here and reflect on all that is blowing sideways in my life, some of it hitting me like an elbow in the face, here is a boy who will unconsciously stop his running to gaze at Jesus.
I want to stop — and pivot like that — even if all of china attacks.
This post is being shared with Laura Boggess for …
And with Michelle DeRusha for …