When the heart is supple there is no ending to the grace and kindness it can receive.
I watched as the little boy pounded his own head against the glass door. He wailed – a primal noise that I had not yet heard, even in my own recovery after abuse. The gut-wrenching scream tore thru the tiny entryway we were trapped in together. CRACK! went the glass as his skull hit the pane. I sat patiently, watching, monitoring, supporting, allowing, breathing and trusting that his body was doing what it was designed to do. Fight, Flight or Freeze. And now – it was time to intervene – helping him to move thru this pain and emotional disruption.
“No – we won’t do that.” I stated softly and firmly, as I grabbed him, holding tightly. Wrapping my arms around him intensely – to squeeze and activate the vagus nerve. I rocked him like a baby as he whimpered – I squeezed harder. He went silent – I could hear his breath against my chest as his body started to calm and come down from his “fight” response.
“Jesus”, I thought, “What would you do if you saw a child having a reaction in this way? What would you say? How would you guide, comfort, nurture and support?”
“Jesus empower me to help this child regulate. I am his constant and you are mine.”
I held the boy, rocking him as he breathed. “I believe you, you have every right to be angry and upset. I believe you. Nothing you do will make me run from you. I am here.”
Feeling resolved, calm and centered – the boy left my lap and continued on with his night.
I sat and stared as the hot tears poured out uncontrollably, sitting on the step – still trapped in the tiny entryway. “Jesus. You were here.”
The calmness I felt moments before, while soothing the boy – quickly rushed out from the tips of my fingers all the way to my toes. The adrenaline pulsated as if I was coming down from an intense event. That was more than I had ever dealt with before.
As I reflect on that night – I can’t help but put myself in the position of the little boy. I am him and so often I need to borrow Jesus’ nervous system in order to regulate my emotions and my response to fight, flight or freeze. Terror frequently grips my body, anxiety tangles my mind into a nest of confusion, depression causes me to stare into the cold dark abyss of pain and loss, rage at the men whom have used, abused, and tossed me aside while claiming to love God, burns in my veins and I bang my own head against the system that created these men.
And where is Jesus when this is happening? Right here. He is sitting on the step in the tiny entryway where I battle my demons. He is waiting – allowing my body to do it’s job as He designed and then surrender and resign to the exhaustion. There He waits until I fall into His lap and wail my gut-wrenching screams. “Why, Lord?” “Why not this?” “Why not that?” “It’s not fair” “Now what?” “But what if….” “Why didn’t you…?”
That night in the entryway with the boy – I longed for his little body to fall into my arms so I could rock him, soothe him, and whisper to his soul that he was so loved and so known by me and his sisters. We delighted in him. I wanted him to wrap his arms around me and let out his pain – trusting me to carry it with him. I longed to nurture and warm his frail little frame.
I believe this is what God longs for from us. God our mother wants to cover us with her wings – protect us – keep us safe under her shelter, nurture us; just as a mama covers her babies and nurtures at her breast. (Psalm 91:4, Matthew 23:37, Isaiah 49:15 -17) God our Father longs to gently speak truth to us, whisper sweet nothings in our ear – reminding us of the glorious beings we are in Him. (Matthew 3:17, Isaiah 43:1, Song of Solomon 2:4) God our defender wants us to tell him of all the woes, upsets and troubles – so that He may go and advocate and battle on our behalf. (Exodus 14:13, Psalm 18: 16-19) Just as an earthly papa was intended to do. Jesus, our friend and brother, asks us to fall on his lap and give Him our worries for He can take it and in exchange we can walk with a lightness about us, after allowing Jesus to regulate for us. (Matthew 11:28 -30)
This is what God is for me; the little girl inside who still cries because of the deep neglect and abandonment she endured. This is what I am for the little boy. When our hearts are supple there is no ending to the grace and kindness we receive from God our mother and father; Adonai – my Lords, El Shaddai – the Mighty Breasted One, El Roi – the God who sees.
You are not alone.