By Hannah Orr
Every since bringing home my newborn daughter last month, I noticed a pattern in adult responses when she cries. Whenever she starts wailing for one reason or another, we caregivers will often try soothing her with shushing sounds and by saying, “It’s okay.” Now, I know at this age she doesn’t understand our specific words and their meaning, but I have begun to think that this isn’t the best response to her crying. Because in her world, everything is most definitely not okay - that’s exactly what she’s trying to tell us with her tears.
You see, she doesn’t understand that I’m waiting for the bottle to warm up so I can feed her; she only knows that she is hungry. She doesn’t understand that her belly hurts from gas and that the discomfort will pass; she only knows that she is hurting. She doesn’t understand that I’ve simply left the room for a moment to let the dog outside; she only knows that she is alone.
So instead of dismissing her cries by saying, “It’s okay,” instead I’m trying to say, “I’ve got you,” and “I’m here.” I want her to find comfort in my presence because the reality is that there will be many times in her life when things will be far from okay. There will be countless moments where she will not understand the world around her. There will be heartbreak, pain, and sorrow that I will not be able to shield her from. And while I may not be able to make the bad things go away, I want her to know that I will always be there. I will always hold her when the storms roll in because sometimes that’s the best way we can love our children - not by trying to show them the sun, but by sitting with them in the rain.
I like to think that’s how Jesus sees His children. There are so many circumstances we find ourselves in during our lives that we don’t understand. Times when we question God’s goodness and demand answers that just don’t come. And I’m sure it would be easy for Jesus to look down at us and say, “It’s okay! It’s going to get better! You just don’t understand yet!” But I don’t believe He does that. I think Jesus is sitting in the rain with us, holding us when we cry. Catching us when we fall. Loving us even at our worst.
And just as I do when I’m holding my precious daughter, I picture Him holding me the same, whispering into the darkness: “I’m right here. I’ve got you. I love you.”