the intimacy of reading

The intimacy of reading

I can see the warm light of our living room lamp casting a halo like glow over a basket of books.  I can see the low white bookshelf in my Gramma’s spare room, filled with Angelina Ballerina and other mouse books. I can see the bright yellow cover of my One Year Bible that my mom read out of every night before bed.

Some of my earliest memories are tied to reading and books.Those memories are indicative of a lifelong love of literature. I desire to instill a similar love in James and any future children. We make reading to him a priority, a priority that is easy to keep.

I love the intimacy of reading with James, snuggling as close as his squirmy little body will allow. I treasure the proximity we share as I turn the pages and he grabs and pulls, more intent on eating than absorbing content.

I love watching him engage with the pages, grasping and patting. Sometimes he just stares at the colors, other times he helps me turn the page, eager to discover what’s next. I love watching him learn and grow. When we first started reading together, he was an infant – just a lump of baby flesh in my arms, barely able to stay awake for my recitation of Barnyard Dance.

As he matures, he is more attentive, more aware. He focuses and anticipates the discovery of something new on the next page. Sometimes I point things out to him – the pretty flower, the funny face. Other times I let him discover on his own, waiting patiently for him to find bumble bee or lift the flap to see what’s underneath.

He wiggles and wrestles. He sits and snuggles. He may last through the whole book or he may start crying before we reach the second page.  Even if he doesn’t notice the words or understand the plot, even if he gets distracted or upset, I am always thankful for the time we spend together with a book in front of us.

I wonder if God experiences our time in the Word like I experience reading with James?

I think He cherishes the intimacy developed as we crack open the Bible, lean into Scripture, and rest in His truths.

I think God loves watching us engage with the pages of Scripture, eager to discover what’s next. He is pleased to see us learning and growing.

In our infancy, we are a lump in His Father arms, being bottle fed the words. As we mature as Christ-followers, we become more attentive, more aware.

Sometimes He points things out to us. Sometimes He lets us work things out on our own, waiting patiently for us to discover truth and wisdom.

Sometimes we wriggle and wrestle with discomfort as we read. Other times we sit in silence. We may gobble up chapters or chew on a verse. Sometimes we just sit in God’s lap and cry without having read one word.

Even if we get distracted or upset, God still cherishes the time we spend with Him, His Word in front of us.

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