by Ken Rolheiser
Sitting on God’s lap and soul whispers

The story is told of a father who would tell bed-time stories to his little girl. In his busy life this became a burden, so he tape-recorded the stories that could be played for her. Quickly the child rebelled at the new process. When he asked her why, she told her father, “I can’t sit in its lap.”

It was for this reason that God sent Jesus to us in the incarnation. Jesus explained in many ways how we can touch the Father’s love. Imagine sitting in God’s lap and listening to God’s whispers for a moment:

“I love you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3).
“You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14).
“Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.” (James 1:17).
“If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me.” (1 John 2:23).
We are made in the image and likeness of God, and we are his children. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are,“ (1 John 3:1).

Why do we not remember the reason God created us in the first place? He wants to share heaven with us. He loves us with an abandon if we want to be close to him. We can sit in his lap!

Why do we not understand God’s desire to hold us to his heart? We have been gifted with children and grandchildren and spent hours blissfully holding them to our hearts, singing and dancing with them.

“Yahweh your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult with joy over you, he will renew you by his love; he will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day of festival.” (Zephaniah 3:17).

Family and God are interconnected. Our ancestors live on through us. One of my favorite morning prayers is characterized by this connection with my parents and grandparents and those who have gone on ahead of us to God. 

I pray for and to my siblings who have been born to eternal life. I picture my Godparents, my Grandparents, and all who have gone before us. It is a wonderfully warm memory - my parents and their sixteen children. Then my father went on ahead. My mother followed so soon after. Others are following, going on ahead.

Multiply that genetic mix, for those who are married. My in-laws are a wonderfully warm reality as some have gone on ahead. Similarly, our children look to us and their ancestors in the faith watching and caring from above.

God mixed his DNA with humanity through the birth of Jesus. Now God is part of our spiritual makeup. God lives in us, especially in our hearts, through the Word, the Spirit and the Flesh. In the priestly prayer of Christ, the night before he died, we get details about our spiritual oneness with God: “Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.” (John 17:20-23).

Spending a little time on God’s lap daily will give us new focus and renewal. From here we can go forth into the world to serve our neighbors in Christ’s love for all. 

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