Last week, Anne Lamott’s Imperfect Birds reminded me of an image of God I once had a few years back during, what seemed at the time to be, a very bad break-up. I got this picture in my mind of God being a giant armchair into which I could just sink, cry, sleep, and relax. In Lamott’s book, she describes on member of AA as imagining her higher power as a giant bean bag chair with arms. That works for me, too.

When I am most stressed or tired or worried or anxious (as I am now), the best thing I can usually do for myself is to take some time (hours if I have them, but seconds will do) and imagine myself dropping into a giant, high-backed, very soft, very warm armchair. Then, I imagine that chairs’ arms come around me and hold me tight so that I can’t run screaming back into the world to try to manipulate things for my own liking. Usually in this image, I struggle against the arms for a few minutes, but then I settle down and let the squishyness of love melt me just a little. It feels really great.

So today, no matter your faith, worldview, or feelings about armchairs and bean bags, I pray that you may feel the arms of love holding you tight and letting you melt into them.

Dog in a Soft Armchair