Carried Close

Susanna VanVickle // Genius of the Call


October 17  

Recently, our MIHC DFW chapter came together for fellowship and adoration on a Tuesday night. While several of us shared mom-life over soup and salad in a cozy nook at La Madeleine, our eyes were drawn to sweet, five-week-old Basil, who was strapped to his mother’s chest in a carrier. His tiny arms and legs hung loose and relaxed as his body pressed up against hers, but his eyes were aglow and his head erect as he watched her in rapt attention. She chatted and laughed, pausing once in a while to gaze at him and exchange an expression of love. He was utterly content—hearing her voice and contemplating her beautiful face.

From La Madeleine we drove over to a night of worship at St. Thomas Aquinas. The beautiful church was dimly lit, the music was soul-lifting, and the presence of God was palpable. Candles burned brightly on either side of the monstrance, which glowed from light directed at the altar. As I entered into worship, transfixed by the Eucharist shining before me, I felt my tenseness waning and my shoulders beginning to relax. I couldn’t help but smile, sensing my own likeness to the infant carried close to his mother’s heart. Here, pressed up against my good Father’s heart, I could lay down my burdens and rest. Here gazing at his countenance, I was content. I was at peace. I was captivated by his beauty, and I rejoiced that he would deign to smile at me tenderly.

Our Lord beckons, “Come to me! Bring your fears, your mess, your brokenness, your sufferings, your sins, your disappointments, your shame, and your sickness.” He doesn’t promise to make the troubles vanish, but he promises that, when we offer him our burdens, he lightens the load. In fact, he picks us up, nestles us close to his heart, and bids us rest. That night in adoration, I fixed my gaze on him and let him hold me! How often, however, am I stiff and unwilling to let him take over? He wants to carry me and all the things that are weighing me down, but like a stubborn toddler, I resist. “I can do it myself” is an attitude that a nursing child does not have, but instead he depends completely on the goodness of his mother. Just so, God wants us to lean into him, like an infant in a carrier, focusing on his face and resting. In this posture, our weakness, worries, and need are lost in his wholeness, his peace, and his victory.

Dear Lord, I’m sorry for clinging to my own preoccupations and ideas. I want to be your dependent little one, carried close to your heart. I want to fix my gaze on you and trust your tenderness and care. Help me to surrender.

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