This morning as we all rose & began preparing ourselves for the day, it was quickly apparent that Bruno had woken up feeling a little 'fragile'. As we had breakfast, said goodbye to Dad, & began to get dressed for kindy there were several grumpy moments. Finally, in a huff Bruno stormed off to his bedroom, where his little whimpers soon turned into deep sobs & wails of, 'Where's my daddy? I want my daddy. I WANT MY DADDY!' I did my best to comfort him (while still in a mad rush to get to kindy on time) but I knew that only a cuddle with his daddy would really give him what he needed. I can empathize - I remember times when I was little where I just wanted 'my mummy'. No-one else would do, & although I might allow another adult to settle me, in my heart I didn't feel truly comforted until I was back in my mother's arms.
A few days ago, I was having coffee with a close friend & sharing about something difficult I experienced, with my family, during my teenage years & early 20's. It was something I hadn't thought about for quite some time & in the days following, I found myself thinking not only about what I had shared with my friend, but the many other incidents surrounding this 'situation'. Experiences that (at the time) I didn't think your average, nice Christian kid, in your average, nice Christian family, would usually encounter. How could I ever explain to someone what its like to see your parents & siblings being hurt in that way? All the bizarre experiences, the difficulties, & dramas that we went through, as individual family members, during this time? 'No-one will ever know', I thought, 'maybe if they've been through it too. But its still different. No-one really knows what its like to be me & stand where I've stood.' It had been so long since I'd thought about that period of my life, but it stirred up an old, familiar sadness. 'No one will ever know'.
When I was 17, I fell in love with this guy - he was my first love. I knew, without a doubt, that he was 'the one' & I wanted to be with him for always. When he broke up with me a year later my little 18 year old heart was broken. I felt unloveable, rejected. I actually grieved like someone had died. During that time I found myself thinking, 'I'm alone in this. No one will ever understand. No one will ever know.'
I know I'm not unique in having these thoughts & feelings. We all go through times of darkness and pain. The difficulty is in the isolation we can experience during that time. The realization that no other person completely understands exactly what I am experiencing. My first name means 'God is watching'. At times, it is easy to imagine that He is indeed watching, but from afar, distant & unfeeling. My Bible suggests otherwise.
Psalm 147 v 3 - He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 34 v 18 - The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 56 v 8 (The Msg) - You've kept track of my every toss & turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in Your ledger, each ache written in Your book.
This morning, like Bruno I woke up feeling 'fragile'; sad for no particular reason. In my life, I have experienced both difficulty and pain, and wonderful moments of joy & peace. I live a life of purpose and know that I am so blessed, and I am (mostly) content. But underneath all of that, I experience this longing. Just below the surface, it remains. I have this recurring dream where this old guy gives me a hug. Now, in reality, I'm not big on the hugging thing, but in my dream, it is a wonderful thing. In his embrace, I feel known & loved and I never want him to let go. After having this same dream several times, I began to realize that the 'old guy' was really a glimpse of my longing for God. This morning, as I heard Bruno cry, my heart echoed his sobs of, 'Where's my daddy? I want my daddy!' Sometimes, when I feel like I am all alone in this, my greatest longing is to be known & loved, in my Father's embrace. Like my dreams, that last mere moments, I can only grasp fleetingly the love & fulfillment to be found in Him. But as I long for my Father, I have hope that one day I will see Him face to face & understand fully what it is to be truly known.
Psalm 73 vs 25-26 - Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail,but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
1 Corinthians 13 v 12 - For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part: then I shall know fully, even as I am FULLY KNOWN.
The following youtube clip is Brooke Fraser singing 'C.S. Lewis Song'