I am always attentive to you
As Moth, our 9 month old Yellow Labrador sat at my feet today, her head inclined upwards to rest below my knee. In that not uncommon gesture she was gently asking for attention. I responded in the only way I could which was to rub her head and neck and as I did her eyes became heavy and she slowly drifted into a peaceful slumber.
Her response to my attention made me realise that being attended to is a common desire for all of us and when someone gives their attention to our hearts, our bodies or our souls it causes something to settle within us. It feels good when someone truly listens as we share something meaningful or painful, a deep shoulder massage relaxes weary muscles, sitting in an attentive silence with others brings stillness to obsessive thinking and to-do lists.
The Holy Spirit is ever attentive, always present and always responding to our desire for attention even before we know it’s what we need. She dances through our lives in every moment always aware of what’s going on in our hearts, heads and bodies. She is fully present to all of us, even the things we try to keep hidden. She is weaving, moving, working, allowing, opening, making a way, and creating the path along which we can walk. She acts, responds and provides in more ways than we will ever know. She knows what we need more than we know it ourselves.
This knowledge invites me to settle into and remember her attentiveness to me, to remember that I don’t need to make anything happen, I don’t need to fight or strive or push. I don’t need to adopt the brace position to get through my days as if defending myself against some unknown force that’s out to get me. I can respond with a gentle yes to being attended to. I can open my hands wide, surrender and let go knowing that the path is already beneath my feet, already unfolding. I can rest in knowing that I am safe in the attentive care of God and that all will be well.
There may be pain present, circumstances may not be as I’d like them, there may be challenges but amongst it all there is an ever-present attentive God inviting me to fall into arms of love, to be held, to be fully known and have my heart and soul attended to.