I became a mother in the 1980s when ‘skin to skin’ contact (where a newborn is immediately placed on their parent’s chest) wasn’t the norm.
Nowadays, it is widely recognised as a beneficial practice as it promotes a baby’s development and wellbeing.
Evidence backs up what’s right under our nose – that a deep bonding results when a baby has skin to skin contact by lying on its mother’s breast or father’s chest.
As a believer, I find myself reflecting on my feelings about God.
In Christianity, God may be known as ‘Abba’, the Aramaic word for a father with whom there is a close relationship.
Truth is, I never had a close relationship with my father, but I see some wonderful fathers around.
The dad patiently teaching his son to ride a bike, demonstrating, encouraging, and steering him in the right direction.
The daddy attentively listening to his daughter upset by a nasty experience, and helping her find courage for tomorrow.
The dad inviting his offspring to share their worries, and helping them to work out what’s theirs to sort, and what isn’t their responsibility.
Necessity meant that I had to be a very responsible child, and although this developed strengths, my default position can trip me up. I can find myself sorting out problems that aren’t mine to solve, or worrying about situations beyond my control.
However, if I pause in the midst of my striving and anxieties, I sense that God, Abba, is longing for me to experience an intimacy in my soul.
We are not designed to be fiercely independent. Instead, we are called to experience the liberation of interdependence and dependence. It’s about recognising where our responsibilities begin – and end. It’s about doing our best, and letting God do the rest.
Just as a baby is soothed by resting on the breast or chest, so God calls us to nestle, not wrestle.
If we can let ourselves be found by God and sense the warmth of true acceptance, if we can be still and become attuned to the Father’s heartbeat, then we will be touched by Abba love.
Truth is… As a child lies quietly in its mother’s arms, so my heart is quiet within me (Psalm 131:2)