My twelve year old came to me yesterday. Will you read out loud the Chronicles of Narnia again? Totally! And can we all pile on your bed while you read them to us? Absolutely! Like every night before we go to sleep? I stop and focus on the sweetness of the moment. Oh, that you would love books. That you would desire to be with me. That you would want to share with me one of your loves. This is pretty much my dream. So yes, son, a thousand times yes. I pause to reflect on that response of my heart, and I think about all the things we created beings love. Things that on the surface don’t seem all that spiritual. Like musical instruments, painting, gardening, writing, exercise – all the talents and activities we pour ourselves into. When we choose to pray while we’re doing these activities or we offer the music and art and songs to God – this is us, wanting to be with God, wanting to share something we love with him. I think this pleases him. More than any tradition or doctrine or belief, when God’s children ask him to participate in who and what they love, it is an aroma pleasing to the heavens. It is worship. So, we started reading last night. All snuggled up on my bed. One Little cozied in the crevice of my legs, with his big sister tucked up close. Another squeezed in between her brothers, grumbling because she wasn’t next to me. And the one who initiated the moment? Oh he claimed his spot early. With The Magician’s Nephew in hand, he nestled in my bed and waited thirty minutes while I finished a bunch of mom tasks. And when I finally sat down, he handed me the book, let out a sweet sigh of relief and excitement, and smiled a darling happy smile. I knew what I was about to do. I was about to love him in his favorite way. And he knew it too. I’ve known this about him a long time. He has a love for books like his Aunt. But what he loves more than reading books is me reading books to him. It’s really the only time I get to snuggle with him. The only time he will willingly draw close to me. It’s frustrating sometimes when the intentional pancake breakfast doesn’t make him feel loved. Or the words of affirmation I pour over him (though appreciated) don’t fill him up. Or my frequent I love yous just don’t seem to matter to him. Or how all the times I try really hard to accommodate his interests and needs somehow gets shadowed by my occasional not this time. But when I read to him? He gathers close, he softens, he responds more gently. All because he is feeling loved. The way he experiences love is different than the ways I most often give love. I wonder if this is how I am with God. If he daily and consistently loves me deep and wide in ways I miss because I don’t recognize it as love. Or I’m not in a place to receive it. Or it doesn’t quite translate in my heart and soul. But there are these moments where I experience love so vivid and strong. And I recognize right away its divine source. It’s a quenching, satisfying love that affirms my spirit and restores my soul. Sometimes it’s through another person. Sometimes I feel it when I’m all alone. Sometimes it washes over me without warning. And sometimes I anticipate it’s coming like the boy waiting in my bed peeking behind the book. And like my son, when I am loved the way I like best, I exhale a sigh of relief as it heals my wounds and dissolves my anxieties and insecurities. I want more of these book reading moments – when I get it right. When I love someone just how he needs it right then. Because in those moments, I am fulfilled and blessed. So it is my hope that I say yes, a thousand times, yes to love.