Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Skin of Knowing

"Many believe that it is love that grows, but it is the knowing that grows and love simply expands to contain it. Love is just the skin of knowing." -from The Shack by William P. Young

Last night, as I drew a tepid bath for my fevered little boy, I was swept away to some moment in the winter of 1970 when I was just a baby and my mother was my hero. I don't actually remember that long ago night, I only know the story of it so well that it feels like I can remember what happened. I was very, very sick with a fever of over 105 degrees and my father, then a Secret Service Agent with the federal government, was out of town, leaving my mother alone with my older brother and sick little me. Mama told me how she called the doctor and they told her to strip me down to my diaper and walk me around outside in the snowy night until my fever came down. And so she did. She walked me about in the snow, holding on to my burning-hot, diaper-clad little body as I chattered and hallucinated and she cried and prayed.

Fast forward thirty-nine years and here I am with my own little boy, fighting his high fever and understanding what my own mama felt all those years ago. And as I look at his flushed face that is so like my own used to be, I am moved by this small reflection of me and my husband. You don't just love your child because he is yours. You love your child because you know him so very well and his delicious uniqueness is divinely irresistible. And I remind myself that this same mystery exists between God and me and He invites me to truly know Him that my love for Him might expand. He knows and loves completely, a reality that I do not pretend to understand, but that I do find irresistible.