Abiding

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)


Greek looks so cool that sometimes I just have to include it: μείνατε (abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry). I absolutely love the simplicity of my children's example as it relates to my relationship to God as His child. I spent one week apart from my one-year-old son. One week. Not a very long time, to most people. Many of my acquaintances travel away from their little ones frequently, and wouldn't think much of a separation like this. For our particular family, we have chosen a closer walk through these early days of infancy and childhood: co-sleeping, few babysitters, and homeschooling for the early years. Part of the reason is this concept of abiding, that through contact with us - and their older siblings - our children will grow more easily in the direction we desire them to grow. I want to be the pruner of these little minds and hearts. That is not something I am willing to abdicate to someone else.

And so, where the rubber meets the road, the sling comes in handy. With baby on my back, the dishes might actually get done. With baby on my back, the laundry can be folded or the floor scrubbed - happy tasks, when completed in unison. So I am to be with Christ: learning as I watch Him move in relationships; learning as I see how He dealt with sorrow through the great trials of His short life (he lived to be barely older than I am now).

Today is Palm Sunday. That great story, of how Jesus road into Jerusalem triumphant, being hailed a King, people laying their coats on the ground to create a humble carpet on which He rode. He would be crucified just five days later. In my humanness, I would ride into town indignant, unable to absorb or accept honor bestowed on me. If I knew that I would be betrayed and put to death less than a week later, many of the same faces now upturned in joy shortly contorted with hatred? No chance that I would ride triumphant, able to be in that moment entirely! I think back to how long I prepared my children for this recent separation we experienced: I spent weeks talking about it and preparing them for what was to come. Yet here rides Jesus, accompanied by His disciples, who bask with Him in the glow of this adoration from the crowd. And on Palm Sunday eve, as Jesus speaks to His disciples, He is still speaking in parables. Gently moving them toward truth, realization of His impending sacrifice.

How much I have yet to learn at His feet. So I am sticking close, abiding, tarrying, remaining. Watching, through His great book, how He goes about daily tasks. That I might emulate Him more closely tomorrow than I do today.