The smell of Jergens lotion and the hem of a brown suede skirt that my mom wore in the early 1990s comfort me. I was not a shy child who typically hung onto the hem of her mother’s dress. I never covered my face with her clothing when someone asked who the little girl was. And I never cared for her speaking on my behalf. I knew my own name and age, thank you very much.
But I did hang onto her hem when we walked through the Fiesta crowds in downtown San Antonio, or grocery shopped at the HEB. I would tug at her skirt, ever so slightly, when I felt uncomfortable. Just enough to draw a little closer to her and remember that she was there.
Isaiah looks up amidst the chaos of seraphs and smoke and earthquakes and sees God. God is so big that Isaiah can only see the hem of the divine robe. It fills the temple from floor to ceiling. Without hesitation Isaiah names his woes to God. He stands there and shouts them up to God over the seraphs’ thundering barks.
The NRSV does not say that Isaiah is scared. I like to think that’s because he is close enough to hold onto the hem of God’s robe if he needs to, tugging it just enough to remind himself that God is near as he hears some heavy words.
What does comfort look like for you? What does it smell like? What draws you to God’s arms?
Loving God, may we always reach toward you and know that even the hem of your presence can fill the room with comfort. Amen.