Clipboards, cardigans, and cuddles

23 02 2011

We sang a song in Sunday School when I was a child which had these words –

“God is always near me, hearing what I say,

knowing all my thoughts and deeds, all my work and play.”

I expect the songwriter wanted to reassure children of God’s care, but my God became a clipboard God.  I imagined him tracking me, watching me, writing a record of how I behaved – a sort of heavenly Asbo.

Psalm 32 showed me, many years later, that I had been carrying the wrong picture in my head – the slate is wiped clean, and God celebrates me by throwing “garlands of hosannas round my neck.”  Read the whole Psalm here in The Message.


I woke my granddaughter from her afternoon nap when she was about 15 months old.  She sat on my lap, all pink cheeked and tousled hair, slowly connecting with the world again.  Our cardigans both had zips with fabric tabs on them and she played with them alternately, zipping up and down.  There was no point to what she was doing, but we sat together for a time, zipping, talking baby talk, and enjoying each other.  I treasure that memory – her trust, her closeness, her just being with me.  It’s reminiscent of the picture Jesus paints in Luke 13:34 of his being like a mother hen wanting to gather her chicks to her to care for them. 

The sad part of what Jesus says comes at the end – “You wouldn’t let me.”

I wonder if prayer is like that sometimes.  God is longing for us to be with him, to talk with him, to enjoy his closeness…but we’re the stubborn ones who won’t let him…and he won’t force us.




One response

31 12 2011
The year at a glance « moses supposes

[…] Taking action is not an end in itself, though; it’s the change of heart that counts.  That’s what matters to God (Forgettings).  I can take all the action I like, but if it is so that I can tick boxes, forget it (Clipboards, cardigans and cuddles).  […]

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