Those two words never fail to stop me in my tracks. I know that when I look behind I will see big, brown eyes, pleading with me. Two pudgy, outstretched arms. A quivering bottom lip thrown in for dramatic effect.
So I turn. Slowly. Sometimes reluctantly.
And I say, "What, Em? You wanna come with me?"
The patter of her feet always answers. She runs to me, eyes now beaming, stares up - way up, since at the gargatuan height of 5'4", I usually tower over most 2 year olds - and waits, chubby arms still outstretched.
I whisk her into my arms, and she laughs in delight.
She is coming. Her plea has been heard. And she is coming.
I look down at her wispy head, which is cuddled against my shoulder, and wonder...
Is this how God feels about us?
He stands, waiting, watching, as self-sufficient human forms mill about below. They know the right things to do, the right things to say, the right way to live - life is good.
Then the unthinkable happens...a child dies. A young life taken far too soon. A job is lost. A good family turned out on the streets.
And self-sufficiency dies. Articulate people lose the ability to speak, for there are no words to say.
At wit's end, they finally look up - and see the waiting form of the Father.
"Father," comes the broken whisper. "Abba. Daddy...I you?"
The Father hears the simple words - but He hears so much more. Father, will you help me, guide me, teach me, strengthen me. Take me with you. I want you, love you. Father...
The Father slowly turns...but His slowness is not from reluctance. He is savoring this moment, the cry of His child for His presence and closeness. A smile breaks across His face, and He sweeps the weary form into His arms.
And life regains meaning.