Steven noticed me rummaging around the kitchen, putting away dishes and taking care of a few other tasks. Thinking I intended to wash dishes, he ran to grab a stool and push it up beside the sink, ready to rinse. Rinsing dishes ranks among his favorite household chores, and he never minds jumping in to help family members. It’s a bit different with me, though. If he has the slightest inclination that I am preparing to wash dishes, he will drop anything and everything, grab a stool, and jump up to be by my side. Many of my tasks he cannot help me accomplish, but he knows he can help with the dishes. And he knows it offers a perfect opportunity to be close to his mommy.
On this particular occasion, I gently informed him that I wasn’t washing the dishes right then. I was simply taking care of a few things while I waited for his big sister to be ready for our weekly date time. (My date time with him would come a couple of days later.) The expression on his face said it all. He was sincerely disappointed to miss that shoulder to shoulder time rinsing the dishes, even though we would get some nice snuggle time shortly when we sat down for Bible and read-aloud time in school. Later in the day he was disappointed again when he saw me prepare to wash dishes but knew it was time for him to go shower. He rushed through his shower as quickly as possible just so he could come back and help me. And yes, he did somehow still manage to get clean!
That is the deep beauty of fellowship. It is the choice to do whatever it takes to be near someone, even if whatever it takes is a less than pleasant task and even if other, more pleasant, together time has just occurred or will come very soon. For my precious son, it matters little how much time he has spent close to me leading up to that moment or will soon spend with me. We might have just given each other hugs in passing while going through the business of the morning, or we might have spent the last hour with him in my lap. We might be ready to launch into our individual tasks or be preparing for date time. All he knows is that he can never get enough Mommy time, and he will gladly do anything to be with me.
I want to be like that with my heavenly Father. I want to love His presence so much that it does not matter what we do together or how much time we have already spent together. I want to hunger for His company so greatly that I will do anything and go anywhere as long as I get to be with Him.
I admit, I have not yet reached that level of hunger for His companionship. But I know the delight I feel when my son wants to be with me. I exult in his enthusiasm and attentiveness. Although it is hard for me to fathom that the Creator of all existence could feel the same way about my attention to Him, I know it to be true. He loves my presence. He loves my attention. He loves my hunger for Him.
May we be like Steven, willing to do any task just to be by the side of our Father.