It almost never fails. We are lying in bed - my wife and my son and I - when my son will say, “I want you to cuddle with mommy.” It is one of those precious moments that families have and cherish. My son wants to see my wife and I love each other. He wants to be bask in the overflow of our love. Children feel safe and content when their parents express their love for each other.
But, there is another reason that my son loves to ask me to cuddle with his mom. He asks because he wants to be a part of the cuddling. Every time we cuddle when he is around, my son will make his way between us, not to break us a part, but rather to join in the love. He loves to worm his way in between us, and just lays there soaking up our love for each other and for him.
We all want to be a part of a loving relationship. We want to have loving families. We want to be a part of a loving community. We want our churches to be described as loving. We want to have love overflowing from our lives and we want love to be sloshing onto us from the people around us. This is one reason that John 17:20-21 is so compelling:
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
One reason this is compelling is we want to be part of the amazing love that the Father and the Son have for each other. We want that. And we get that in Jesus. We get to be part of the cuddle between the Father and the Son. We get to have that in how we relate to each other and love each other. And this is compelling for those who see us, they see this loving relationship and community, and know that we share in the love that is God’s.
Just stop for a moment and ponder this truth: we get to wiggle our way into the eternal embrace of the Father and the Son. We have the privilege to partake of divine love. And we are not interlopers or intruders, we are welcomed and invited in. God and Jesus both open their arms to pull us into their mutual bear hug that we feel in the deepest parts of our souls because the Holy Spirit is there as well.
That is compelling. It meets our deepest needs. It fulfills desires we have trouble putting words to. It satisfies in ways that boggle the mind. And it should be attractive to those who witness it.
How would our churches change or be encouraged if they saw their relationship with God in such striking terms? How would our witnessing to others be energized by us living this and experiencing it?
We get to be part of the cuddle and it changes everything.