I quickly intervene and take Nathan's hands in my own. His angry heart draws back. I lift his chin and he lowers his eyes further.
We speak quietly of the offense and his consequence, and his prompted apology. Tears, hugs, and kisses, and eventually peace reigns again, but the interaction reminds me of my own relationship with God. Sometimes I feel God keeps His distance when really my own hands have pulled away. I don't see the loving forgiveness in His tender glance because my eyes remain on the ground.
My day takes me from scrubbing floors to dusting framed memories, from Scripture to incomprehensible child-speak, from tears to laughter. Wherever it takes me, God also walks there.
His protecting hand, tender compassion, strengthening Word, and eternal direction guide me. Isaiah 59:1,2 say, "Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
He is there with His strong arm that can reach into my life, His clear vision that can see a way through and His sharp hearing that hears my despairing cry. I had already jotted down these thoughts and then I read this passage from Hinds Feet in High Places (an allegory of a girl named Much-Afraid and her journey from her home surrounded by other Fearings to the protective High Places of the Great Shepherd),
It seemed so impossible to ignore the Fearings, still less to resist them. She did not dare look at the Shepherd, but had she done so she would have seen with what compassion he was regarding her. She did not realize that the Prince of Love is 'of ver tender compassions to them that are afraid.' She supposed that, like everybody else, he was despising her for her silly fears, so she muttered a shamed 'thank you.'
. . . And missed the blessing that stood before her.
If He seems distant, I must have stepped away. If He seems hidden, I need to come out of hiding. If He seems hard of hearing, I need to speak from a pure heart. He remains the same yesterday, today and forever.
His apparent distance is really my own guilt, anger, fear, selfishness, and greed. He remains as close as ever.
Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.