Secrets and Snuggles
Why should a strange man in a mall have more fun than you? Every year children literally line up in malls across the United States to snuggle into the laps of strange men with fake beards they are told will give them the secret desires of their hearts. Parents will say no to a horse or rocket ship…or a horse that rides a rocket ship…Friends may laugh. But there is no secret dream a child won’t tell the stranger they are told to call Santa Claus. And they have absolute faith he can do what he promises. Some secret wishes, we learn from those strangers as they go back to their jobs as sales clerks, are quite poignant. A wish for a job for Daddy or make mommy well from this sickness she needs new blood for every week.
Even as adults we long for a lap we can snuggle into and an ear we can pour our secrets into. And JESUS says we have it for the asking and the only thing keeping us from it is seeking attention from others instead of snuggling into secret conversations with the Father Who loves us.
That is the reason JESUS, GOD the Son, came as a man to earth. His arms were nailed to the Cross to enable us to reach out in prayer to our Heavenly Father and be heard as His child. His feet were nailed to the Cross so that we can stand in His footprints as a child of GOD bought by His Blood into relationship with GOD the Father again. He rose from the dead to prove we are forgiven for His sake and can rise into the Presence of the Father and have a secret snuggle with Him through the Holy Spirit snuggling us close to Him and interpreting our childish gurgles into the longings of our hearts He longs to hear.
Any parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt knows the joy of a child curled in their laps. And if they are blessed to be trusted by that tiny heart they may be told the ultimate secrets of their lives. Maybe their words can’t be understood in words but in a look or touch or laugh. Or maybe they can verbalize that you mustn’t tell but there are untold riches…a whole quarter…hidden under the couch cushion in the sock the dog was chewing on last night.
JESUS is calling us to this joy of prayer. Stop shouting to the world for their approval, He says. They can’t help you and their attention and approval are worthless. But if we come to His Cross and follow His footprints into eternity as a child of GOD we have the comfort of the Holy Spirit anywhere we are in life. And we can know the joy of a snuggle, not with a stranger, not with a frail human, even if a family member, but with our Heavenly Father. We can snuggle into Father GOD’s lap and whisper our secret longings and be comforted by His Presence through the Presence of the Holy Spirit because of what JESUS has done.
“”And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Matthew 6:5-6 ESV