Letters to Arden – January 10, 2011


There is a beautiful moment when your eyes close and you fall asleep in my arms. These days you are usually too busy and aware to shut the rest of the world out, unless you are curled up in your own crib. But this morning you gave me the gift of your sleep, your weight, your warmth.

By this gift you tell me all is right in your world. You tell me you have received the love I strive to show you in so many ways. I feel your heart send its morse code signals to my own, little words beat out in a gentle rhythm – love, peace, safety.

Who teaches us how to love in this mother-daughter way? I did not have to read a book, or follow four parental laws. You did not need lessons from the nurses or other experts. Somehow in birth we are both given the language, a special revelation. We are taught by God Himself.

It’s no surprise, really, although it is a thing of holy wonder and grace. God, who is Love, is the One who gives us breath, makes and sustains our beating hearts. He cannot give of Himself without giving love. This reality is in our lungs and veins. It is all around us, sighing in the trees, falling with the snow, murmuring in the sea.

We are His children first. We have been made so by Christ, and we are both His sisters. When He leads us to the Father, He throws open the door and pours His very Spirit, Love Itself, into our hearts. By this Spirit we cry “Abba,” settling into His arms. This is how we know what love is. This is the Embrace that surrounds us as we sit here now the Embrace that strengthens my arms and lulls you to sleep. Sleep sweetly, little one. You are loved.


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