Comfort, the Verb
I step around the counter into my daughter’s kitchen and start fixing breakfast. A minute or two later, I hear an inquisitive “Bah?” from the living room.
“Bah!” I answer.
The thunks of hands and knees on the wood floor increase in pace as Abel uses ‘echolocation’ to find me. I glance over and see his strawberry-blonde curls. His head bends down in concentration as he crawls into the kitchen, sits up, and turns in a rapid circle as he surveys the situation. A wide, two-toothed grin splits his face and he raises his arms so that I can pick him up.
Six weeks ago, this never would have happened. But Abel and I have spent a lot of time with each other since the beginning of June. We’ve had countless nonsense conversations, read I am a Bunny fifty-nine times, and gone on long walks. He finds comfort in my presence. He trusts me.
Last week, two stray dogs decided to join our morning jaunt. Three miles later, they flushed a chicken out of the tall grass beside the road and proceeded to chase it. The chocolate lab managed to snag a mouthful of tail feathers. I yelled at the dogs, flapped my arms, and stomped my foot in an attempt to make the dogs abandon their hunt. The chicken clucked in terror and the dogs barked in glee.
Poor Abel sobbed in fright. The chicken made it to safety and the dogs finally gave up, and we continued home. It took extra pats on the back and soothing sounds to comfort the poor baby (I know, you might wonder why I didn’t just let the dogs kill the chicken—I didn’t want Abel to see a chicken murdered).
Comfort and Relationship
This morning, as we went on our penultimate walk until December, Abel sighed and leaned his head on my chest. I thought of the difference between June and now. On our first walk together, he squirmed and struggled in the Ergo carrier—not sure if he wanted the close proximity to this person who was not his parent.
But now? Now he seeks comfort from me. It took time to build the relationship, but now he knows he can trust me for solace and sustenance. He finds comfort in my presence and reaches out to me when he needs company.
Abel’s acceptance of me and choice in seeking comfort from me mirrors my relationship with God.
The more time I spend with God—reading the Bible, observing nature, praying, and worshipping—the more comfort I feel. When I think back to my first interactions with God, I realize how much our relationship has changed. I trust him know because he has shown his faithfulness in my life—even during the scary, hard times.
I used to seek comfort in other things (chocolate, for example). Now when I feel agitated, unsure, angry, or upset, I go straight to my journal for a long talk with God. I find comfort in pouring out my woes. I don’t always know the answers when I finish, but I know that things will work out the right way.
The lesson for me is this: I shouldn’t expect others to feel the same level of comfort from their interactions with God that I do. After all, my journey has gone on for some 42 years. Nor should I insist that others use the same methods of building relationship that I do—what works for me might not work for you.
I do know that relationship and comfort go hand in hand.Relationshp and comfort go hand in hand. Click To Tweet
Q4U: What ways do you build relationship with God and feel his comfort?
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