[Today’s guest post is by Tyler Linder, a member of The Marriage Abbey community.]
Sitting down on the couch I am approached by a miniature clone of myself, though much more handsome than I could ever be. Locking eyes with his as he walks up to me, I know what’s coming. Toys are strewn about the living room, freshly folded laundry is stacked on the floor, and couch pillows have been tossed about as ammunition from yesterday’s battle. These obstacles bid no distraction to the objective of my child:
The only thing on his mind is the fact that dad just got home and there is still daylight to illuminate the next adventure.
“Daddy, up!” he says, smiling at me.
There is no doubt in his mind that I will acquiesce to his request. Though my body is reluctant to get up due to an exhausting day, my spirit rejoices at another opportunity to commune with my child. What shall it be today?
A treacherous climb over the mountain of foam blocks?
An exciting archaeological dig in the backyard?
A new feat of engineering with Legos?
Or a pleasant wandering of our imaginations within our favorite books?
As he leads me on our excursion, I meditate on who he is with those precious little hands to hold mine, with those chunky feet that lead him as he waddles, and that smile that casts away any darkness. I am compelled to pick him up and hug him. What happens in my mind and spirit when I hug him is chiefly ineffable, only to be explained through experience. What can be said, though, is how this is a reflection of grace and love to be experienced in heaven. I begin to realize that it all started when he looked at me with a precious face smiling like moonbeams shining on a clear summer evening.
At that moment, we enter a communion of sorts.
It is a union that can be shared by no one else at that moment. It is just me and him, father and son, man and child. This communion seems to shade us from the goings-on of the world, and much to our delight. It draws us into the bond of love which brings forth joy and passion. His joy, pure and undefiled by the world, captivates my soul as he runs, jovially screaming through the house. This bond we share causes in each of us a passionate desire to remain with each other and experience life together at all times. There is no urgency to part ways. We only want to know each other in the most intimate of ways that father and son can.
I imagine this to be a bit like heaven – perfect peace in the desire to more fully know the Father at all times with no care to be distracted.
The bond between my son and I, only sullied by my own selfish desires and occasional frustration, brings me to meditate on those said stains and gently guides me to greater benevolence and peace by setting a claim on my life to foster within him a path towards Christ. Though I am pained at the thought of the world tarnishing this dear, sweet child’s soul, I long to grow with him in wisdom and faith. It will be through the trials and experiences in this world that he will more fully understand God’s love, mercy, and grace.
But for now, we play.
He takes my hand and off we go on another adventure across the waters of the soapy ocean as we brave the treacherous waves and splashes. No longer, though, is this just a time of fun and entertainment. It is a moment of grace, a moment of communion, a moment of love.
What a beautiful piece Tyler! Thank you for sharing these thoughts. May you continue this important “mission work at home” that God has given to you.
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brothers by heart and soul. this is awesome. I’ve known you since I was 7 and you were 9. You have always been about family and friends before yourself. I always looked up to you as a big brother. Even my wife would say that I’m much more peaceful around you. You have a beautiful family that will only grow as your get older. I have never seen you frustrated except for when I used to moan about losing in a game of monopoly. You are also the most unselfish person I know. I love you bro.
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