My little boy resting in those early days.
(A reflection on the Last Supper that I wrote during Holy Week, an invitation to us all as we return again and again to that life-changing meal.)
It’s Holy Week and my littlest boy is sick.
A fever struck early Monday morning. Puffy-eyed and red-faced, he simply wilted,
laying on my husband until the Ibuprophen kicked in. For three days now it’s been the same, the
rising heat, the wilting and the slow, steady relief of the Ibuprophen.
Three days, the pediatrician says, absent any other
symptoms, give a fever three days to break and then if it doesn’t, bring him in.
In the biblical world, three days is a symbol for the fullness
of time – three days in the whale’s belly before deliverance, three days in the
belly of the earth before the resurrection – and now, three days until the
fever should break.
This boy is my busy one, never still, always working. Carrying his ladder and tool box from room to
room, he is a ‘lecic man (electric man) on the look-out always for something to be fixed. Well on his way to three, the moments for
cuddling have grown few and far between and, a wiser mama now, I appreciate
these days of illness as moments to cherish.
In his weakness, he draws close, nestling in my lap like a bird tucked
beneath my wing. Silent and still, his
check pressed against my breast, he rests.
Although translations differ, tradition recognizes John the
Beloved disciple as the one who reclined, leaning against Jesus’ breast during
the last supper. Celtic tradition
recognizes John as the one who listened to the heartbeat of God.
John reclined, listening and watching the meal unfold against
the backdrop, the melody, of God’s pulse. His whole identity was redefined
from that moment forward, no longer ‘John’ he was forever-more known as ‘the
one whom Jesus loved.’
“Love you too,” my little boy calls, as I prepare to leave
his room each evening.
“Love you too,” he presses, answering the love he knows before I can even voice those
three words, “I love you.”
Having lain against my breast, he responds to love before it
is even spoken. ‘Love you too’ is the statement of one beloved, one who leaned and now lives
against the backdrop, the melody, of love.
This week as my son rests, beloved, I am listening too and
God’s heartbeat echos through the gospel stories, through the
green grass greening, through fevered heads bowed and wet with perspiration. Leaning, listening, I feel the invitation to
stay here awhile, three days or more, while this song, this heartbeat forms me
with its rhythm, redefining the heart of who I am.
This post is linked with Playdates With God.