Sunday, August 5, 2012

I Accidentally Said I Love You

I pray with my children every night to a God I am unsure of.  I was raised on church and prayers and revivals.  I want my children to have roots in God, in faith.  But I don’t want them to have the doubts that have plagued me my entire life.  So I pray with them every night.

“Dear God, thank you for everything that you have done for us.  Thank you for letting us have a good day.  Please let us rest well tonight so that we may have a good day tomorrow.  Give the boys a pair of angels to watch over their dreams.  Let them know how much you love them and how much I love them and how very safe they are.  Amen.”

This simple prayer is part of our bedtime routine and I have found that I receive as much comfort from it as the boys do.  Some days there are more additions – prayer requests or gratitude.  One night as I prayed I accidentally told God I loved him.  In my mind, I immediately apologized, “No, no!  I didn’t mean to say that!”  I think there was shame.  How can I love a God I don’t know?  How can God love me if I don’t know him, or love me at all?

I remember one time in college where I “accidentally” told someone I loved them.  It was a guy I had liked in high school and we had recently reconnected.  We were chatting on the phone one day and as we were hanging up, I ended the conversation with “I love you.”  I was mortified – I immediately hung up the phone.  He immediately called me back and at first I refused to pick up the phone.  What could I possibly say to him?  I hadn’t meant to say that at all!  I finally picked the phone up and he asked, “What did you say?”  I mumbled “nothing.”  He said, no, that isn’t true.  He persuaded me to not be embarrassed and he said that he thought that was the truest kind of love there was; the kind where you accidentally say I love you.

We never dated, didn’t stay in touch, but I have never forgotten his words.  What if, just what if, it were true?  What if accidentally saying I love you to God was the truest kind of love?  An unknown love finding its way to the surface, snuggled among good night kisses and prayers?

What if?