The Holy Deep

My toddler boy hands me a rock and it is small, cool, smooth in my hand.

“God made the rock,” he says, searching my face for confirmation, purpose.

“Yes, sweetheart, God made the rock.”

“And God made the berry,” he tells me, smashing a broken wild berry in my hand.

“Yes, God made all the berries. . . strawberries . . . raspberries . . . gooseberries . . . silly goose,” I say, smooshing my nose to his,  eyelashes kissing his flushed babe cheeks.

“And God made the windows????” He asks, his eyes searching the east side of our little white cottage.

“Ummm . . . yes, baby . . .  and God made the windows.”

“God made the windows and Uncle Floyd painted them!!” He delights, giggles, runs off in search of boy-treasure.

I laugh but he doesn’t notice.  “Uncle Floyd” is our contractor.  Several weeks ago, he painted the window frames.  We have no family connection, unless you count this cottage of ours.

As I watch my boy play in the yard I think about those windows and whether I answered his question correctly.  Because of course man made the windows.  But I know who made man.  I know the Creator.

“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”  Colossians 1:16

As mothers, we see God in our newborn children.  That’s an easy one, is it not?  When mother’s eyes first rest on baby’s face and the earth shifts and our hearts are set aflame, isn’t it God we are seeing?

But what about when exhaustion overwhelms us and that same child’s cries wake us at 3 a.m., sheets wet, pajamas needing laundered?

Do we see God in our child then?

When we have to search below the surface?

Do we see Him in windows aging into a hundred year-old cottage?

What about the times that the surface of things blinds us to the Holy deep?

It is a few nights after my toddler boy asks me about God and rocks and windows that I open one of those same cottage windows after midnight.  A strong breeze comes inside from a night that is 58 degrees and it changes everything.  For a moment I wear nothing other than that breeze and the weight of a seven pound unborn babe.  This is a long hot summer in a body heavy with a life continually growing and gaining.   Pages of an old paperback flicker on the nightstand.  A delicious and holy reprieve after a long and hard day of toddler demands and humidity, dirty dishes and scrambled eggs that went uneaten, naps not taken and exhaustion that that threatened to overwhelm.

Where is God on the hard days, when we don’t see Him but we are hurting and broken, needing Him most?

That breeze, the physical comfort of an invisible God, ministers to me and I know I have been asking the wrong question.  It isn’t “where is God” but “where am I?”  Am I so entangled in the surface of things, the cold scrambled eggs, that I am blind to the Holy Deep-the comfort to be found there?  the purpose?

I close my eyes and run my hand along the window sill.  God is the wind and the window, the Savior and Creator.  Beckoning away from a life entangled on the surface, He brings the breeze and says “arise my beloved and come with me.” Song of Solomon 2:10

As His beloved, I refuse to only see His hand in the obvious-the rocks and the berries and the good days.    I must search deeper to find Him in the old windows and cold eggs and hard days.  I commit to seek His face in hidden places.

To teach my toddler boy to do the same.

“Yes, Wynn,” I will assure him, “God did make the windows . . .  man made the windows, but God made the man.”

“God is right there.  Look hard, little one . . . beneath the surface . . . right into the Holy Deep.”

19 Comments

  1. As I sit here on my couch with a cold, home sick from work, staring at a dirty and cluttered house, I really needed this reminder. Ben is quietly playing by himself and I can hear Landon reading a book to himself in his room. God is definitely here. Thank you friend. :)

  2. Yes. Yes. Yes! Mamas all over the globe need to dunk their heads in this beautiful medicine: His Holy Deep. Thank you for these wonderful words, Erin! God IS in the Cheerios crunching under my bare feet, the poop smeared on the Elmo potty seat, the overflowing trash can. These are all signs of the beautiful life He’s blessed me with. Thank you for leading me to the pool and helping me look deeply, friend.

  3. Beautiful! We have the assurance God is with us everyday. Some days we just have to seek and search harder. :) We will be rewarded if we diligently seek Him though. It’s always worth it. :)

  4. WOW – what a great post! Almost poetic in its beauty. Shared it on facebook for my other mom friends to enjoy.
    Thanks

    s

  5. It has now been 6 days since our family was thrust into a place of having to search for Him nearly every minute. Never have we experienced such pain and sorrow and fear. But we know He is faithful. We just don’t know how that faithfulness will be shown in this situation. I am thankful for moments of peace that can only come from Him.

    • Laura, I am so very sorry and have been praying for you this weekend. Praying for comfort, peace and encouragement.

      • Thank you, Erin. The unknown is so often terrifying. Deep down we know He is always there, but there are moments that we do need to ask, “Where am I?” It means so much to know that people are praying for us.
        Thank you for your words of encouragement. Your writing is a blessing to me!

  6. Thank you, Christie. Isn’t it wonderful that even though we will probably never meet and you don’t know the details, the Lord hears your prayers for me and knows exactly what we need! What a mighty God we serve!

  7. What an amazing post. Exhaustion and repetition seem to conspire to hide God on a daily basis. This was a terrific lesson in making the effort to overcome these obstacles and find Him. Thank you!!!

    Laura, you and yours are now in my prayers. May He hold you close and give you comfort and strength!

    • Thank you. He is there, and He is faithful, and He loves us more than we could ever love another.

  8. Erin.

    When I read your offerings, I see them as offerings to God, our Heavenly Father. You touch us and you touch Him…in the simple, sweet innocence of a child…in the awe and wonder of discovery. How blessed you are, how anointed by Him to bring encouragement and comfort to your sisters. But, you rightly show that a choice must be made to look beyond, or as you say “go deep”. and that requires a child-like trust in God. Thank you dear one.

  9. He is there on those hard days….I needed this reminder to ask not where God is but where I am.
    oh, how I needed this tonight.

  10. Hi Erin,
    Thank you for your beautiful site. I have five children ranging in ages from 27 to 7 yrs. old, a daughter and son in-law and one darling granddaughter. I am so moved by the way you see and describe your world. I am humbled and reminded of God’s great love for us. I still have so much to learn about loving my family and being a stay-at-home mom. I don’t spend a lot of time online, but when I am looking for an uplifting thought one of the places I look is your site! I’m making the best ever choc chip cookies this weekend with my granddaughter!:) Thank you!

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