The slip of paper caught my eye as I hastily gathered a stack of mail from the kitchen counter. I grasped the message and read again. How could I have forgotten so quickly? How terribly human I am. It had been so profound, so life-giving at the time. It brought me back to that morning in early June . . . .
I had come downstairs, expecting to find solitude. Instead I was greeted by my Aidan-boy, sitting in the sunny kitchen nook with a smile on his face. Not a bad way to start the day. As I prepared water to boil and scooped the usual two cups of oats, I noticed that I had a shadow. A shadow shaped like a happy six-year-old boy. When I turned, he turned. When I stepped, he stepped. "Do you know what I'm doing, Mommy?" he asked, giggling. "What are you doing, Aidan-boy?" I smiled in return. "I'm following you because I love you." My mother-heart melted. "Oh, Aidan. I love you, too." I could have gobbled the child up on the spot.
And then his words struck something deep within. Because I love you. Of course. We follow because we love. I grabbed a piece of scratch paper and recorded Aidan's words, eager to revisit the thought later. But, according to its custom, the day meandered on. We ate our oatmeal, we moved forward into the day, the week, the month, and somehow that piece of paper, that glimpse of truth, got mixed up in the mess of life . . . and I forgot.
I forgot that I follow because I love. I follow not because anyone has told me to do so, not even because I've decided on my own that it's the best thing to do, but because His love compels me. He has made His love so attractive, so completely holy and desirable, that it is folly to follow after anything else. I know the oatmeal mornings will continue to slip by one by one, and I know the weeks and months will continue to startle me with their brevity. Yet I also know that the Lord will gently nudge my forgetful, human heart that I may proclaim again and again, I'm following You because I love You.