While reading Psalm 116 this morning, I was touched by the image of God bending down to listen to my heart.
“I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.” Psalm 116:1-2 NLT
God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth bending down to hear my heart is a beautiful and humbling image that reminds me of James Weldon Johnson’s poem “The Creation.” In his poem, he describes God this way:
“Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in is his own image;”
Both images personify the love parents have for their children. God’s love is so much greater, but a loving parent is as close as we come to His love in this world.
God doesn’t need to bend down to hear us, and He certainly didn’t need to kneel down in the mud to create us; but both poets knew the power of those images.
God bends and kneels just as we bend and kneel to listen to our children. We want them to feel our presence, and we want to be nearer to them. God knows our hearts better than we do and listens even when our voices are loud with anger or quietly drowning in sorrow. He also knows we will eventually be quiet and hear Him, so He waits for us to finish so He can fill our hearts with His love and desires for us.
When I finally do come to stillness, His loving presence is always waiting. Sometimes that happens in minutes, and sometimes it takes a decade. He waits patiently for me to be still long enough for Him to pick me up, hold me in His arms, and let me know how much I am loved. He loves those sweet moments as much as I do because there’s nothing better than having our children near.
That’s why as long as I have breath, I will continue to pray ❤️