Two heads are better than one the saying goes, but besides the obvious intellectual melding of minds, a much sweeter truth is communicated when two heads come together.
A mommy rests her cheek against the soft hair of her child. A daddy, his son in his arms, leans to connect forehead to forehead. Bowing over a hospital bed, bending low, stretching to be close are all ways we show care.
So much is communicated in the sweet bond of bending down one head toward another, to brush cheeks, ear pressed next to ear. It strikes me how tender is the action of leaning towards, one head against another, as if the very pain of one transfers to the other. As if two heads together open thoughts and heart as one, breaking barriers and melting tension.
How often we instinctively incline towards the one to whom our compassion is stirred.
It is like God in His steadfast love to us.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” Psalm 40:1-2 ESV
How beautiful is the image of a Heavenly Father bowing over me.
“In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me!” Psalm 71:2 ESV
“Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily!” Psalm 31:2 ESV
Like us, the Psalmist found himself over and over again in a place needing deliverance, rescue, and refuge. He wrote from a place of physical danger, emotional distress, and mental anguish. He sat in a waiting room of sorts, willing God to respond, crying like a child for the only one who could truly comfort.
But, he knew beyond doubt that He could trust in the head and heart of the One who heard. Who saw. Who knew. Who inclined. “Nata” in Hebrew, stretch out, extend, bend, bow.
Have you pictured God bending toward you? Like a Grandma with a grandchild. Like a father with a son. Like one friend to another.
That tender intimacy of stretching toward, head to head, heart to heart offers hope and calms the turbulent wait.
For the Psalmist waited from inside a miry pit from which on his own strength he couldn’t rise.
It’s walls were too slippery. It’s cavern was too steep.
Sometimes our space is also too messy, our pieces too broken. We sit in that pit with its murky depths and cannot find the way out.
David, in his heart’s plea knew the God of Refuge in this soft and tender space would also be His rock and fortress. He counted on it.
“He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” Psalm 40:2 ESV
“for you are my rock and my fortress.” Psalm 71:3 ESV
“For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me.” Psalm 31:3 ESV
Our lives grow toward Jesus or away in times of deep testing. We all go through them. And so, instinctively, you bring your head close to another’s, and wait. Your tears mingle, your heart moves from your chest to theirs, your prayers surround you both as one.
This is what Jesus did.
“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30 ESV
Because God inclined his head and heard my cry.