Through the Eyes of a Child

As I’ve grown as a parent, I’ve also grown as a child. A child of the one Holy Father. By giving us the opportunity to be parents, He offers us a glimpse of His own infinite love that He has for each of us.

On the morning of April 5, 2015, Easter Sunday, my first child was born. My sacrifice for lent had new meaning that year. Everyone can acknowledge that pregnancy is far from easy. A pregnant woman can be nauseated, irritable, or barely able to sleep. She can seldom focus. She doesn’t necessarily feel as beautiful as others may tell her. But in the midst of all that discomfort and suffering, she’s glowing. We all see it. Even while she’s in pain, there is joy because she knows that it will all be worth it to hold the baby in her arms.

And she would go through it all again if she had to.

That is the meaning of sacrifice, to offer up suffering for the sake of another.

How could I not be reminded of Jesus’ sacrifice for us during this time?

Years ago, I heard a friend from youth group say that he received an image in prayer of Jesus carrying His cross. Jesus was bleeding and bruised, as we’ve often seen him portrayed, but His eyes were full of pure joy. In the face of all He endured, Jesus joyfully carried His cross because He knew it would be worth it to be with His people forever.

He would go through it all again if He had to.

I thought of this often during my first pregnancy. It offered me less than a fraction of what God felt for His people. Crazy, crazy love.

The Resurrection came. My son was born. Miracles happen after sacrifices are made.

Then my son started to show quite a strong will. Such stubbornness. ‘If only he could understand what I was telling him! If only He would listen! I could spare him so much…’ I would think, frustratedly.

Oh, how often must the Father in Heaven feel that same way with us. There’s so much we don’t understand, yet we feel we know so much. So much left unexplored, left unknown, but somehow, we (or some of us, rather) are convinced that the answers to all of life’s mysteries are plain.

I used to assume my parents knew everything, and that once I became an adult, I too would know everything. It turns out, no one has any idea what they are doing. So much of what seemed simple is simply convoluted. Every aspect of life is governed by some overarching bureaucracy, who dips its hands into corruption now and then. Day to day individuals are dishonest, selfish, even those who generally abide by the law will break it when they can. Children know so much more about how to treat others than we adults do.

It’s simple: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Chaos may be all around, but the Father’s still small voice brings peace. He unties the knots, He clears away the noise, like a mother singing her infant to sleep when tiredness brings confusion to his mind. The discomfort fades away at the sound of her voice. Frustration and pain often seem without purpose, but if we lie in the arms of the Father, clarity is restored.

I’ve grown up only to realize that I should stay small, strive for childlikeness. To love, trust, and depend on the Father the way my children love, trust, and depend on me.

Having children has solidified what I’ve always known, that we are all children of God. And with being children comes being foolish. Perhaps it would benefit us to remember that the person who cuts us off on the highway, the rude server or customer at a restaurant, the homeless are all someone’s child. And they are all God’s children.

When my child doesn’t understand why bad things are happening to him, I think of every time I’ve begged God for answers to life’s most difficult questions. As an adult, I understand that temporary pain may prevent long-term suffering. When a baby receives a shot, he writhes in pain and feels betrayed. He doesn’t understand why his parent would allow such pain to befall him. But the vaccination is good for him. It will strengthen him. It will prevent a worse suffering later on. The pain makes him a better version of himself.

When my children fight with each other, I’m reminded of the violence we do as adults. Every murder, even when done at random, is a crime of brother against brother, God’s own children neglecting to recognize each other.

When my child cries in pain, I think of the innocents being traumatized and afflicted as their country turns into a warzone. I am given a portion of the pain God must feel for every living soul around the globe.

When my child is hungry or cold, I think of the homeless who lack basic necessities.

When my children don’t get along, I think of leaders who are unwilling to engage in diplomacy.

Can every complex issue really be reduced to our lack of love for one another?

It sounds naïve, but I can feel in my heart of hearts, the calming voice of God. ‘Yes, indeed,’ He says.

But all is not lost. I cannot control the actions of others. I can only control my response to a given situation. And so I choose to love.

In the words of Saint Teresa of Calcutta, “If we do not have peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” In this season of Advent, let us remember that we do in fact belong to each other. We belong to Christ our Savior. He is our brother and we are His family.

To God be the Glory!


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