The video of the father whose children casually invaded his office while he was being interviewed by BBC has been the talk of social media. I was falling out of my chair laughing as I watched. THIS WAS REAL LIFE. The beauty of live TV is laid bare when life continues uncensored in all its normal glory. As any parent can attest, that could happen to anyone who has children. In any case, it got me thinking about the nature of children.
Now these were small children who most likely had no idea their daddy was on live TV, being interviewed by a prominent news agency. They nonchalantly walked, or in the case of the one in the walker, rolled into their father’s office, maybe hoping to play with him or simply be in his presence. Sometimes my husband works from home and though our boys know not to disturb him, they don’t really *get* the importance of work. Daddy is still daddy and if they want him they will at times cry for him or ask to sit quietly with him.
This is the nature of children- they want to be with you.
Ask any mom who has tried to go to the bathroom or take a shower alone. IT. IS. IMPOSSIBLE. They will find you and even sit outside the door if it means they can be near you. Small fingers poke through the crack between the door and the floor. Occasionally, you might even sneak into the pantry for a snack (or some alone time) and they find you! And then steal your food.
Even newborn babies, who know nothing of the child/parent relationship, yearn for touch and to be in the presence of their parents. Skin to skin practices are important moments of bonding between parents and children. No need for words or the understanding of language. They are simply content to lay on your chest, rising up and down to the rhythm of your breath, while listening to your heartbeat.
Children long to be in our presence.
“Let me just sit here with you daddy as you work.”
“Mommy, can you sit with me and watch TV?”
“Watch me daddy! See what I can do!”
“Can I lay in your bed with you, mommy?”
These are phrases we hear on a daily basis in our home. Parents are not just authority figures, protectors, or providers. Parents are a child’s resting place. A place where just the company of a mommy or daddy brings comfort, rest, security, and love.
Longing For God’s Presence
In Matthew, Mark, and Luke we read of Jesus inviting children to come to him- to be in his presence. We don’t know the dialogue He had with them, but we do know two things: 1) The children wanted to be with Jesus … and 2) Jesus wanted to be with them. Perhaps they saw Jesus as a place of welcome. A refuge. To be in His presence was to feel comfort, to be safe, to experience love. To be with Him was to have peace and be shown affection. The bible tells us that Jesus took the little children in His arms. He didn’t keep them at a distance, but swept them up in the arms that would be hung on the cross for them. And the breadth of his arms is open to all.
We can learn a lot about the simple faith Jesus calls us to from the nature of children. In the same way our children pursue us, we should desire to make God inescapable. To have a longing to be in the presence of the Lord exposes a lot about our faith. If we continually long for the presence of our Father in heaven, it shows that we treasure Him, that He is a stronghold for us, that in Him we find all we need. It reveals that we trust Him and that He knows what is best. The children with Jesus had a longing for His presence that accentuated the depth of their faith, despite its simplicity. In fact, I would argue that it is because of its simplistic nature that the perpetual longing for God exists. If we simply want to be with Him, we don’t allow ourselves to get in our own way. We come to Him as needy children, who desire their Father’s love.
I love those sweet kids in the viral BBC video. And I hope that after that interview was over, their daddy invited them to be in his presence. I hope he swept them up in his arms and covered them in kisses. And I hope he laughed with them about crashing his interview.