Fifteen years ago I became a parent and everything as I knew it changed. My view of my wife changed. My understanding of my parents underwent a radical transformation. My way of looking at the world around me took on completely new meanings.
During the last two weeks, I have talked to parents in England, Netherlands, India, Hong Kong, and Japan. No matter where we start, we always end up talking about the amazing things our kids do, how they touch our lives, and how life is so different because of them.
When I shut my eyes, I see her reflection. She was young with her innocence lost to the streets and searching. She does not look like any child I know, but I already am already lost in a parent’s feelings and response to the situation. I wonder about the hurt in her lives. I hope that a parent did not make things worse. I search for comfort in my own experience with my two girls.
It is easy to be critical. To judge the children by the choices made in the past. To measure parents by the conflicts won and lost. To trumpet proclamations, true as they might be, of “wise son, glad father; stupid son, sad mother.” (Proverbs 10.1) The question that I am left facing is, “what about today?” Am I willing to understand, share love, and give unconditional acceptance?
I pause and wonder about God’s gift to you and me. She always understands. They consistently give unlimited amount of love. His view of me always starts with an unconditional and passionate acceptance of exactly who I am. God loves me where I am, but he never leaves me as I am because he loves me. Just being in God’s presence changes my view of my self. My willingness to confront the blackness of my heart takes on new dimensions when I understand just what God has and continues to do so that I can experience life’s best.
Remember; you may not be a parent, but you are a child of God.