Faith, Parenting, Uncategorized
Comments 7

Closing the Gap {How to Really be Intimate with God}

Sing lullabies, they seem to say,

these Children of mine.

Small hands of the smallest hold me tight at bedtime, saying

stay, just a bit longer, stay.

Beauty-eyes looking at her future drawing large, coming near,

a pillow rests her head,

my fingers comb her hair;

grown girl, not yet woman, oh

stay, just a bit longer, stay.

Boy on the rocky ledge of manhood

sits beside me at church, freshly showered,

listening to sermons old with new ears of youth,

my hand upon his shoulder–

stay, just a bit longer, stay.

And the one no longer a baby, only a girl

earphones and best friends and “can I help you cook?”

her legs spindly, arms lengthen, encircle me in embrace,

stay, just a bit longer, stay.

'Day 296--Close-up' photo (c) 2008, Manchester City Library - license: does it mean to be close to someone? Is it physical presence, a soul connection or a sure and solid love for each other? The Bonnie Gray at Faith Barista asks the question this week: Tell of a time you felt close to God recently. This got me thinking about the feeling of being far from God, because knowing the feeling of closeness is best defined by the bleak understanding of distance. When have I felt close to God? When have I felt far from him?

I thought of my family. They are people I see and spend time with every day. We are close, sometimes too close. However, we don’t feel close simply because of our proximity.

What gets in the way of that harmony, that warmth of security, that comforting ease of pleasant familiarity? Busyness. Distraction. Commitments and work. Miscommunication. Unresolved conflict. Inattention. Self-absorption.

These are the same things that keep me from feeling close to God.

I get busy and run out of minutes before I’ve had time to seek out a quiet corner to pray.

I am easily distracted and my good intentions get derailed by the tyrannical rule of the urgent (or fun).

I have commitments, work to do; issues that necessitate my time, energy, resources and before I know it, I’m spent.

Miscommunication, or lack of communication altogether. I shoot arrow prayers with poor aim and never bother to see where they landed. I listen to many voices, think many thoughts and forget to listen for that silent stream of truth from the Word of God.

Unresolved issues, conflict, sins not spoken of pile up like so many bricks making strong barriers and casting dark shadows, filling spaces where grace ought to be.

My affection dulls and my attention wanes. My inattentiveness to the miracle of salvation and the pulse of daily grace numbs my spirit and mind to God’s mercy.

These barrier-makers all have one thing in common: me.

Anytime I feel distanced from God it’s because of me, my, mine. My thoughts, my activities, my distractions, my myopic sense of me. God never distances himself from his own. And, nothing can separate us from his love. He hems us in {Psalm 139} so how can I not feel close?

Because I get closed in, closed up in a closed-door-heart of selfish ambition and vain conceit.

'Locked doors' photo (c) 2007, Fi Filipowsky - license:

Oh, kick the door open, sound the siren, flash the lights! Arrest me in your greatness, consume me in your presence, be the most interesting thing in my life. Pull me out of my self-interest and reign me into your territory where there is space to be close to you at every turn.

When I am close to you, I am closest to becoming what you made me to be.

When I am close to you, I am nearer to the people you love.

When I am close to you, I’m not busy, I’m still

not distracted, but focused,

not over-committed, but available,

not garbled, but listening,

not avoiding, but confessing,

not closed off, but openly attentive.

And I realize, You have always been nearby, close to me, inviting: “Stay, just a bit longer, stay.”


How about you? What gets in the way? Why do you think we suffer from feeling far away from a God who is always near?

“And in Jesus you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”{Ephesians 2:22}




  1. Beautiful. To stay open-handed in his presence. If we desire it that much of our own overwhelming blessings called children, how much more does He desire it of us? Thank you for your words and your words at my blog. Good to meet you!

  2. amanda says

    These are good words. I homeschool my children and just b/c we’re together all the time doesn’t guarantee strong relationships. It still takes much work. And the same w/ my relationship w/ Christ – it takes time carved out in a busy day to connect w/ Him and just be still. Thanks for your encouraging words.

  3. An echo of my own heart, this is. Thank you for your honesty. I am blessed by it, and even more by the truth you repeat here:

    And, nothing can separate us from his love. He hems us in

    I count on that. Amen.


  4. Jillie says

    Hello Alyssa!…I realize I am way late on commenting on this particular entry you’ve made in the blogosphere…today is July 31st,2012…but I found you in my blog-wanderings. I feel you wrote this from someplace deep…and it sooo resonated with me! I have copied it out and will read it OFTEN. The ‘poem’ at the beginning so spoke to what I feel toward my now-grown son and daughter. I presume you wrote that yourself? Beautiful. I will be returning to your writings daily. You have struck a deep chord in me. Blessings! And I’m so glad to have ‘met’ you today. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s