My son has a severe case of separation anxiety.
As he grows, the issue seems to intensify, despite the fact that I drop him off at his grandparents’ house one day each week so I can have a few hours of uninterrupted writing time (praise God for grandparents!)
To him, it doesn’t matter that his grandparents are modern-day saints who immerse him in love and his favorite books, toys, and tv shows. It doesn’t matter that we’ve done this song and dance every week for over a year. It doesn’t even matter that I always return, full of hugs and kisses, ready to scoop him up in my arms and keep him there as long as he pleases.
The moment we separate, he freaks out.
You’d think he would have grown out of this by now.
But he hasn’t.
To him, separation from me actually hurts. And there’s nothing else in the world that can fill the void of my absence, nothing that can quench the immense longing he has for me.
If he knew me—I mean, really knew me—he’d understand that I am incredibly flawed and thus, by nature, unable to fulfill him. In this regard, it seems silly and unreasonable that he would distress so much over me.
But babies are silly and unreasonable.
So he cries, throwing his tiny, helpless hands out to me, desperately pleading for me to stay.
There’s inconsolable tears. Red, hot cheeks. Difficulty breathing. A desperate chase. And then a painful, constant, unfulfilled longing after I’m gone.
And maybe he’s onto something.
Shouldn’t that be our reaction at the separation we have from our Father?
If we knew Him—I mean, really knew Him—it would validate having intense separation anxiety. After all, God is perfect love, and thus by nature, the only thing that can fulfill us. In this regard, it seems silly and unreasonable that we wouldn’t distress over losing Him.
It shouldn’t matter to us if we are surrounded by modern-day saints or our favorite books, toys, or tv shows. It shouldn’t matter that we’ve done this song and dance since the Fall, when Adam and Eve brought this separation upon us. It shouldn’t even matter that God always returns, ready to scoop us up in His arms and keep us there as long as we please.
The moment we’re separated from God, we should freak out. To us, separation from Him should actually hurt. And nothing else in the world should be able to fill the void of His absence. Nothing else should be able to quench the immense longing we have for Him.
So I’ll cry, throwing my tiny, helpless hands out to Him, desperately pleading for Him to stay.
Inconsolable tears? A desperate chase? A painful, constant, unfulfilled longing? I’ll cling to those.
Because as I’ve grown to know God better, my separation anxiety has intensified.
And that is something I never want to grow out of.