What Trust Looks Like

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love.  To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them. Hosea 11:3-4

*   *   *

I stand in the doorway of my older son's preschool.  Holding it open with one hip, I hunch toward the ground with my arms outstretched on either side.
“Hold hands, hold hands,” I chant in a sing-song voice and immediately my one-year-old twins turn and raise their hands. Plump fingers twine themselves around my index fingers on either side, like vines growing up a trellis. 

“Good hands, good job.  Big boys, holding hands,” I chirp as we step out into the wide expanse of a parking lot, traveling the world with our hands woven together.  They toddle along, three steps to my one and I rub the back of their hands, the skin soft and warm, like round buttered biscuits, two smooth stones I hold so dear. 
*   *   *

In the morning, we stand groggily in the kitchen as wakefulness makes its slow path across our faces.  They’re waiting, desperate, for precious sippy-cups of milk being warmed in the microwave and I’m clutching, just as desperately, my precious cup of coffee. 
When the timer dings, they reach with thirsty hands that clutch the cups, then turn and trot, prize in hand, to the living room, their soggy morning diapers wagging like little tails as they lead the way.  Chugging milk, Levi stops at the couch and pats it demandingly with his open hand as if to say, “Here, Mama. You sit here.”

Settling into the familiar corner as the sun rises through wide-paned windows, I part with my cup as Levi makes his home on my left thigh.  Isaiah, busy at the book basket, finds a favorite and makes his way to the couch.   Turning at the last moment, he backs toward me in a move that reminds me of a tractor trailer easing its way up to a loading dock.  He stands there, his back exposed, his hands filled with good things and waits, trusting completely that I know what comes next.
Leaning forward so that Levi tips precariously, I hook my hands under Isaiah’s arms and curl my hearty maternal biceps, lifting him like a crane and landing him gently on my right thigh.  Home at last, they settle back into my chest, thrusting the book into my waiting hands and lifting their cups in a warm, milky celebration of contentment.
*   *   *
Standing on the edge of the pool this past summer, my older two flung themselves heartily out into space again and again.  They relished the flight and giddy peals of laughter flew off like sparks as they landed like spider monkeys, clinging to my head and neck with arms and legs entwined.  They don’t look to see if I’m watching before they leap and I dare not turn my head – all of me is trained on catching them and so they leap, secure in the knowledge. 
My children trust me so, lifting hands without looking, feeling the security of a mother’s heart that extends all the way from her wide, soft chest to the tips of her fingers.  Every time they back up to me I recognize it, this posture of trust that captures the heart of a child.  Every time they lift their hands, every time they leap, they embody trust in a way that will hold their hearts in the years to come. 
They model a willingness to stand exposed, vulnerable before love, a willingness to be led and lifted, to lean into need and desire without anxiety or fear. In the face of this trust, these gestures and postures, I’m learning – these children are teaching me – and I find, again, a prayer forming on my lips.
Restore in me, oh God, the heart of a child.  Form in me, a fearless heart that leans, forever positioning itself on the edge of life if only to feel again and again the joy of flight, the wonder of being caught and lifted by your great arms of love.     

This post is linked with Playdates With God and Tell His Story.


  1. Beautiful picture of what it means to be a trusting child of God!

  2. This is a beautiful take on trust... I'm still wallowing in your words, as I ponder my own little trust issue lately. This has got me thinking!

  3. I love what we learn from our children. Nice to find my way back here...sorry it's been so long. Thank you for your beautiful words on trusting Him.

  4. I so remember that trust of my kids when they were young. But as they grow older the weight of their trust in me is still as evident as when they were children, it just looks different. And I haven't seen it or noticed it or felt the weight of that trust until I read your words. Very powerful words here and such a good reminder of my roll I play in my kids lives as they grow into trusting the Lord as as we walk down this path of the teen years.