Saturday, October 27, 2012

holding loosely

I met with a friend, Noel, on Wednesday and her 8 month old daughter, Coah. As we spoke the baby poked and squirmed, tasted and grabbed, discovering textures and following sounds. She moved from her mother's arms to mine with trust and confidence, enticing those who passed by to join her in her vulnerability and keeping us in the present. I watched Noel with the baby, with gentleness Noel followed the movements Coah made. The mother and daughter seemed to dance, the baby moving, and the mother maintaining a balance between security and freedom. Noel's arms held Coah close enough to protect her from harm, yet loose enough to allow Coah to move, discover, and express or follow her desires.

Knowing her daughter's rhythm Noel held Coah close, wrapped her sweater around her and offered her breast's milk. With all the stimulation around Coah popped her head out and continued to delight in the chair, flowers, earrings, or hat near by. Noticing her daughter's subtleties, Noel, after some time, offered her daughter her milk twice more. Coah, in both instances, popped her head out to see the world instead. Though Coah's needs and desires were evident to her mother, Noel allowed Coah to continue leading without judgment or annoyance. Noel simply waited for her daughter to be ready to be nourished.

Noel listened to Coah. With gentleness and patience, she allowed Coah to be. Noel treated her 8 month old daughter with a dignity I remember Mami treating us with. A dignity that values and allows the baby to listen to her wisdom and her beat. When signs of further fatigue were evident to Noel, there was tenderness in her voice and added inclusion of Coah to the conversations. This is how I understand God.

In our vulnerability, in our moments of wonder, just as in our moments of crankiness, God is the patient mother, holding us loose enough, to allow us freedom, yet close enough where we are held secure. God is the gentle mother who knows our needs and desires before we can articulate or understand them and holds us to her bosom offering us nourishment from Godself. If we refuse or are not ready, God waits and continues to offer with tenderness in her voice and added inclusion. God simply waits for us to be ready to be nourished.

"She is such a good baby," Noel tells me.

Something tells me that God looks at us and says the same.
 "This is my beloved daughter/son with whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17

With you,



  2. Yep! I had my fill yesterday. thanks for the reflection.