Thursday, November 5, 2009

I need you!

Bedtimes at the Sandlin household have become quite difficult these days. John Curtis just doesn’t want to go to bed. Oh, he’ll sit in the bed, but every five minutes he’ll cry out, “Dadda, I need you!” Actually, he’s not so good with ‘y’ sounds, yet, so it really sounds more like, “I need ‘ou!” Now, by 8 or 9 o’clock at night, all I really want to do is sit in my recliner and watch TV or read a good book. My idea of a relaxing evening doesn’t include bouncing up to answer an endless round of requests So usually, before I get up, I’ll shout back to his room, “What do you need?” Sometimes he needs that classic drink of water. Sometimes he needs to go potty – this is almost always a good way to call Dad’s bluff for I have been badly burned for refusing to meet this request on occasion. Sometimes he wants me to get him a special toy.

But most often, his reply to my question, “What do you need?” is to repeat his initial request, “I need ‘ou!” Truthfully, this is what he has wanted all along. He doesn’t care about the water or usually even going to the potty, he’s just not ready to be alone. He wants me. He wants my presence. John Curtis likes company, especially if that company is Mom or Dad. I’ll admit, “I need ‘ou” is a pretty difficult request to turn down. I know, someday soon, he won’t need me anymore – or at least won’t request my presence as often.

Often I feel a lot like that Dad in Jesus' parable that even though he’s a sinner knows how to give good gifts to his kids – the best gift being the gift of being present. Very often, as I sit next to my son in the quiet of the night, my heart turns away from whatever I’m missing on TV to the God who loves us both. I find myself grateful for a heavenly Father who’s never too lazy or too preoccupied to answer his children’s most basic prayer, “I need you.”

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. – Psalm 145:18

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