Thursday, October 04, 2007

Embraced by God

She sees me and her face lights up and she draws me into a warm, welcoming embrace.

It's late when I get home from work but someone's waiting with a big hug and flowers in the fridge (it's our anniversary tonight).

If you know me, you know I'm not really the huggy type. A hug from me typically means my arm flopped sideways across your shoulders, which may get a little squeeze in the process. Needless to say, not being the huggy type, I probably don't invite a lot of hugs either. But lately, I've been the recipient of a few hugs that, well, keep me coming back for more.

This Saturday we'll take a drive down to Deep Creek, Maryland for the day. We'll take our time on the back roads and enjoy the beautiful display of fall foliage, which I am told is just about peak down there. Be still my heart! This is one of my annual anniversary/birthday requests (since they fall in the same month) and one my sweet hubby delights in faithfully fulfilling!

I've always loved fall but I remember first time the changing leaves made an impression on me. It was the year I student taught. I was working on staff at the college forty hours a week and muddling through student teaching at the same time. I trudged onto the bus early one morning, nearly in tears from exhaustion. On the drive over to the school, I happened to get my nose out of the lesson plans long enough to take in the beautiful northwest Indiana fall foliage. My heart did one of those flip-floppy butterfly dances at the sight of painted display, the warm morning sun brushing on the final touches. I felt God fold me to himself in an embrace that said "I'm here. It's okay." And it was.

To me, an embrace is a fuller embodiment of a hug. It involves much more than an arm around the shoulder. It signifies open arms and complete acceptance. And isn't that what we get from God? Open arms and complete acceptance? We just have to stop long enough to let ourselves revel in his love.

So when's the last time you allowed yourself to feel embraced by God?