Have you ever been in the middle of a thunderstorm and your kid just snuggles right and up and tries to melt into you? It's in the running for my favorite feeling. Feeling the trust of a child as they try to fuse their skull between my jaw and collarbone is one of a kind. I fail with alarming regularity as I strive to be unconditionally loving parent, but in those moments I feel like God's vision for family and for who I am called to be as a father is really close.
I have a similar reflection when one of my children is hurting, or scared, and they push away that affection. As kids get older they start to shy away a bit. They become "too old" for that kind of thing. And seeing a hurting child, and dying to hold them while they turn you away is probably a bit like God's fatherhood too. After all, we are all prodigals.
I'm here to tell you to grow down. Independence is not only overrated, it's also a myth. We are dependent on God every moment of every day, and he reaches out in love through the people around us. I was just at a national Catholic men's conference and the priest for the weekend told us multiple times that it is so important that we ask God to just HOLD US. To engage in prayer after communion and in adoration in which we simply let ourselves be held by Christ.
Sounds weird, to tell a group of grown men to take the time to let another man hold them, but it is maybe the best thing that I got from that weekend. So often we feel "too old," for that kind of thing, and I'm telling you, GROW DOWN. Be like a little child. The things that scare us as adults are in all likelihood a little bit different than those that scared us as a child, but if we're honest we're all of us scared. Scared of losing a job, politics, relationships, not measuring up. The media sells fear each and every day. Your phone sends you messages dang near 24/7 that you're not ok.
So let him hold you. The Father is longing for you the same way you wish your kid would let you hold him or her as they grow up. You're not too old, it's not too weird. He's your dad. The priest on the weekend recommended starting every day asking and allowing God to hold you for at least a few minutes. Just ask him, and in your mind and heart rest up against him. Let your imagination be led by the Spirit to a place where the Lord has you in his arms and no matter what is going on, everything will be ok. Daddy has got you.