A Words of Faith story by Bethany Kaczmarek
As a mother, I’m learning the importance of prayer. Certainly, I pray for my children—for myriad things: their salvation, their character, their compassion, their discernment and choices. Every parent knows how long that list could go on.
But I mean something different.
I’m learning—as a mother—how it is to be on the receiving end of so many requests. I am finite, and my hands are full. As a busy mom (I homeschool, teach, and work as an author and professional editor), there are moments when my little ones come to me with questions, and I am busy. I have to say, “Just a minute.”
Last week, my two-year-old reached for my face and turned my chin toward her. “You are my mommy,” she said, bright-eyed and hopeful. “And I have a kreshen.”
Everything stopped. I set my work aside, thankful for the gentle reminder of one of my most important roles. I knelt at her little feet, and I looked her in the eye. “What’s your question, Sweet?”
“I can have a granilla bar?” Little Girl actually batted her eyelashes at me. Precious.
I met her needs, kissed her on the head, and then I pulled down my grandmama’s old, worn Living Bible. The Holy Spirit put a verse in my mind, and I’ve always loved that translation of it the best.
Psalm 116:1-2: “I love the Lord because He hears my prayers and answers them. Because He bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe.”
I remembered, all down and level with my littlest, how it feels to receive that kind of attention. So in focus and special. It’s worth more than the “granilla bar” itself.
Oh, how good it is to have a God that’s not too busy to bend down and listen. We’re never interrupting when we call out to Him. He’s busy, always at work around us, but He’s infinite.
Certainly, I have asked Him for simple blessings like my daughter asked of me. Most other translations say he turns his ear to me, or inclines his ear to me, and that image is enough in those moments. He hears me, He listens, He cares. But there are moments when—if I could just see Him face-to-face like those little children who came scrabbling up to Him as He taught their parents—I would feel so seen. So known. So precious.
In moments of utter grief and brokenness, in seasons of loneliness, in times of trial—he bends down and listens to me. He wraps me up in moments of Himself.
Right now, it’s the busyness that’s getting to me. I want to slow down, carve out space for a different life, a better pace. I want to stop and hold still and stare at Jesus with blinders on. Just Him and me.
I want to model that for my children, the holding still, the listening, the being. I’ll have to learn how to do it again myself. But oh, I know it’ll be worth it.
Because the minute that I ask for help with it, you know what Jesus will do?
Bend down and listen.
And right then, I’ll be reminded that it’s possible to lose yourself in a moment with someone. To have complete confidence that you are seen and known and heard. He’ll tell me to breathe. I’ll remember that He’s the One who gives me life and breath. And as long as I have it, I want it all to be for Him. He is enough.
“I love the Lord, because He hears my prayers and answers them. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe.”
When I wear my little girl’s shoes and call out, “You are my God, and I have a question (need, fear, longing, concern, anxiety, problem),” He focuses on me. In those moments, I am seen, understood. I am precious to Him, and I know it.
And that’s worth more than the answer to the prayer itself.
Because He is enough.
Bethany Kaczmarek is a sojourner. So far, she’s just explored Earth, but her love for adventure and old stories makes her yearn for a chance to wander in other realms in the not-too-distant future.
Author of Strains of Silence (Summer 2017) and ACFW finalist for Editor of the Year, she enjoys tales that take a guess at what's out there. And she loves to add her own ideas to the mix.
Other job titles: Wielder of Red Pens, Grammar Ninja, Wiper of Tears and Milk, Indie Music Connoisseur, and Friend.