Somewhere Softer and Safer

by Kirk Spencer

father sonThe other night, I was checking doors before I went to bed. All the doors were locked and the lights were off. I made my way through the dark house, to each bedroom to check on my kids, to stand in the doorway, to walk to their side, stand over them and catch a glimpse of that most peaceful thing in all the worlda childs face in peaceful sleep. But this night my youngest was not in his bed So I went looking for him. I found him asleep on the futon upstairs. The stairs creak, and at the top there is a loose board that pops. My son half-opened his eyes and looked at me, still mostly asleep. For just a moment, it was as if I was looking through his eyes, at my father who would come looking for me too. I remembered the feel of his arms around me. His sharp whiskers on my cheek. His aftershave. Carrying me from the backseat, or living room floor, or the course rug just outside his closed bedroom doorcarrying me back to bed. As a child, I just assumed that was what all fathers did: They find their children and carry them to where they need to go. Somewhere softer and safer.

Skeptics make much of how similar the beginning of the Bible is to certain ancient Near Eastern texts. And there are similarities, at times But here is one very important and different difference: In the pagan stories, we were created by warring gods, from their blood, to be their slaves; however, in the Bible we are created in peace, with the breath of our Creator, who made the world as a place to be with us. God is with us, Immanuel.

And this difference is something to think of in this Advent season. God made a place for us, came to live in it with us (and now even in us)and one day He will come back for us and carry us somewhere softer and safer.

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