Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This thing called love

Last night, like every night, I was giving the boys some hugs and kisses as I tucked them in. Sometimes, the need to tuck frustrates me when it's late or I'm busy or don't feel well, and I know they are perfectly capable of pulling their own covers up. They do it one or twelve times a night when they get up to go potty, but at bedtime they MUST have me to put their covers on. In fact, Ethan has been known to be fully under the covers (because, you know, it gets cold here, and they insist on sleeping in boxers), but as soon as I walk in the room he throws them off and says, "Mommy, I need you to tuck me!"

But, in my heart of hearts I know better than to wish it away. I know that all too soon, they won't want my hugs and kisses at night, and they will think they are too big to be tucked. I remind myself that these few short years of them wanting, needing, my affection will be memories before I know it.

So, last night I was tucking in Ethan, and I said, "I love you so much you don't even know." He replied, "I do, too, know how much you love me!"

As happy as it makes me that he feels so confident of my love, I know that it is untrue. He does not know because he cannot know. He has never been a parent. He has no idea what it is to love someone so much it hurts, to be willing to trade your own life in a heartbeat for another's, to feel not only his own hurts and fears and disappointments, but another's - three others' - as well. Though he loves, he can't yet comprehend the full measure of a parent's capacity for love.

As I thought about this, it occurred to me that I know as little about God's love for me as Ethan knows of my love for him. I know God loves me. I even thought when I became a parent that I understood His love completely now. "Aah," thought I, "I get it now. This is what truly, completely unconditional love feels like. Now I understand God's love." And, while I do understand it more than I did before, I suspect I am still as clueless as Ethan. What can I possibly understand of the love of the creator and framer of the world, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He who is without beginning and without end? I know only of the human's - the created's - capacity for love and nothing truly of Almighty God's.

I know what He tells me, which is this: "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17, emphasis mine.) And this: "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (I John 4:10, emphasis mine.)

I would do well to remind myself that it is a love beyond my ability to comprehend. And I'm okay with that.

It's good to be the beloved.


Lenae said...

Great reminder, and so true :)

This Heavenly Life said...

You're good :) What a wonderful post!

Theresa Garcia said...

I wish that blogger had a button like facebook to "like" something. :)