We recently became a foster family. With four children of our own, and our youngest being nearly 16 years old, having two toddlers in the house again has been quite an adjustment. It’s been a long time!
I am getting used to bath-time schedules, bedtime snuggles, and being shadowed and touched nearly every waking minute.
I don’t do anything alone anymore. Just the process of making breakfast means that there are little faces peering over the kitchen counter and every time I shift positions a tiny foot fills the space mine had just been in. Turning around requires checking to make sure I don’t trip over a little one, and then there’s the questions — ”What is that? What’s that for? What are you doing? Why?”
It was in the midst of one of these closely shadowed moments that I found myself becoming increasingly annoyed. There was always someone under foot. There was always someone asking questions. I didn’t have room to move. Then I heard it. Deep within my spirit. The voice of the Lord saying, “Daughter, this is how I want you to follow me.”
I was reminded of the Jewish blessing, “May you be covered in the dust of your rabbi.”, referencing the idea that a disciple would be watching and following his rabbi so closely that as they walked the dust stirred up by the rabbi’s feet along the path would settle onto the disciple.
These little ones were pressing in close to me because they wanted to be a part of my life. They want to see what I am seeing, know the things I am doing, and copy every action. This is what Jesus is calling us to. To walk so closely with him, press in and see every heart attitude, have such a longing to be a part of what he is doing, and lose our footsteps in His.
This is exactly how his life was expressed as he describes in John 5:19-20, “the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing.” Maybe this is part of what it means when Jesus said that we are to become like little children (Matthew 18:2-4).
May we too learn to abandon those boundaries that would cause us to watch from afar and instead press in, be underfoot, and nosey about what the Father is doing around us. I can’t think of anything better than to be so close to Jesus that when he turns around my feet get stepped on. Let’s go get dirty.