24th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Like a well loved blanket
Friday, on the way to school, my oldest son said “Mom, I just love sleeping so much. I wish I could be back in my room sleeping right now.” In my head, I agreed emphatically with him. After a long week, more sleep sounded wonderful. He went on to say “I just love being in my bed, all stretched out, lost in the warmth of my “bb” (his word for the blanket he’s had most of his life).” I was so struck by that line because, honest to God, it seemed very poetic from a six year old. I loved the image he painted, and I wanted to hold onto it and put it somewhere. So, here it is.
His “bb” has been his constant companion through everything for years. He even wore through the top layer awhile back, and so my husband pulled out the sewing machine and brought “bb” back to life. I remember once when he was a little over three, he left his “bb” at school. I was shocked that this could happen, it was pretty much an extension of his arm at that point. He was devastated. Though his speech at that point in time was limited, he repeated clearly “bb” over and over and cried. I made a point of calling the daycare to say “can you put “bb” in the office to make sure it is okay overnight until he can get it in the morning?” He watched me do this with wide eyes as if waiting for confirmation. I thought he’d never be able to sleep that night away from his best friend.
The next morning, he ran into school and searched everywhere for his “bb”. When he finally found it, safe on the desk in the office, he grabbed it and hugged it like his life depended on it. Though he had to put it up in his cubby until naptime, I can imagine he checked on it often making sure it didn’t disappear again.
This tearful desperation, this loss of sleep, this running to embrace what has been lost – this is how the Lord feels about each one of us. Whether it is through coins, sheep, or a prodigal son, this is the message I think the Lord wants us to hear in today’s readings.
May you feel found today. May you feel loved. May you feel God desperately looking for you, and may God find and embrace you with the joy of a child.