The other day, Lucia and I made it to adoration. This is a really rare occurrence. So rare that this was the first time. Ever. I had to run a few errands - return books to the library, stop by the post office, and finally drop off a few items at the parish office. Lucia slept through it all, in my arms in and out of the post office, back in the car, and in the church office. She never does that; she always wakes up when I take her out of the car seat. I had adoration in the back of my mind all day and I felt that Lucia's surprising drowsiness was God's way of making it happen.
I went inside our beautiful new church and sat in the pew holding my little girl as she slept in the presence of Christ. As I sat there, I thought about our morning together and felt ashamed that I had lost patience with her never ending "mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy..."
And then I realized God, the Father, never loses patience with me. In fact, He wants me to constantly call out to Him. The relationship between a parent and child reflects the relationship between God and His people. Lucia is doing it right. And I am doing it all wrong.
My role as a parent is to be an example of the Father's parental love for my child. By showing her unconditional love, I am reflecting the love of the Father. Like the moon reflects the light of the sun. It will never be quite as bright, but it will still light the darkest paths.
When Lucia calls to me, "Mommy! Mommy!" she's asking me to share in her joy, ease in her sadness, chase away her fears, relieve her pain. And sometimes, she just wants attention, to be told that she is important, she matters. She just wants to be held close and feel like she is not alone. It's not always a convenient time for me to run to her, to follow her, or hold her.
But how can I deny her these things? If I can't teach my daughter about the love of God through example, who can? Who will?
And why do I no longer run to God like she runs to me? In fear and in pain. In joy. To simply feel loved and held.
And dang, it's humbling to realize that someone who still hosts tea parties in a diaper is a better example of Christ for you than you are for her.
At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. (Matthew 18:1-5)