Friday, 11 September 2009

God the Mother

I don’t know when it happened, but it happened. I fell in love. I thought I could prevent it, I thought I could hold it at arms length and never let it in. But it snaked its way up my arms and through my skin and into my heart. I’m talking, of course, about the babies. I didn’t think it would be possible to love kids that aren’t my own this way. I guess the best way to explain it is I want to do right by them. When they hurt, I want to fix it. And as tired as I am, I never doubt that they are worth it.

It first happened when I noticed how small they are. They are tiny and everything about them is tiny. Their hands don’t fit around my thumb. Their noses are so little. I can wrap both their feet in one hand when their toes get cold. And somehow it was their smallness that endeared them to me. It was the knowledge that, as they are lying there in my arms, I am entirely responsible for their life that broke me down. They are Future in my arms. They can’t do anything without me. They need me to feed them. They need me to change their diapers. They can’t even put themselves to sleep; they need me for that also.

Of course its God who made me this way. He turns my recognition of a child’s fragility into a deep and tender love. Seeing that a baby is small is not a feeling, it’s just an observation. And I could have one of two reactions to that observation. I could take their smallness as an opportunity for dominance and cruelty. A crime that sadly happens everyday. But that’s not the way we’re built because that’s not the way God’s built. God looks at us and sees how small we are and just loves us. He doesn’t rule over us, rather, He holds us in the palm of his hand. He sees us and He loves us and He gives Himself for us. And in a way, that’s what I want to do for them. Maybe God the Father sometimes has a mother’s instinct.

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