Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Father's Coat

My father always bought quality products – things that would last and do the job properly. This week, in the extremely cold weather, I have been wearing my father’s down coat. It is long and well-made, with thick down stuffing and pockets and zippers and flaps in all the right places. You put it on and, no matter how cold you were a second before, you are immediately wrapped in a toasty blanket of warmth.

Each time I put on that coat this week and felt that immediate surge of warmth, I felt not just physically warmer, but emotionally buoyed. My father’s love was reaching out from beyond and continuing to nourish and warm me. No matter what happens around me, I can walk around the world wrapped in its warmth and protection.

I wonder whether this isn’t also how we are meant to experience God – we say that God spreads a sukkah, a shelter over us, that we dwell in His shadow, that He is mahsi umetzudati, “my shelter and my refuge” (Psalm 91). To walk with God -- to keep God’s presence constantly in one’s consciousness -- is to live with a great warm overcoat of love and protection and to walk through the world enwrapped by this feeling.