Last week I was privileged to spend time in Philadelphia with my sister's family, which meant I got to see my niece and her new baby, Lily. Lily is 17 months old now, cute as a button, with a happy disposition. But they have become a little concerned about the fact that she isn't talking at all yet. She "coos" in the sweetest, soft way, but no words. My niece, Lizzy, has had her hearing tested more than once, and she has failed the hearing test twice. Although it raises an eyebrow, somehow even that isn't definitive -- maybe her hearing will turn out to be okay after all. So they will continue to keep an eye on things.
What strikes me about the situation however is not Lily, as much as she, in all her adorability, commands center stage. It's Lizzy.
Lizzy loves that baby. I mean, Lizzy LOOOOOVVVVVEEEESSSSSS that baby. Lizzy's reaction to learning that Lily may have some form of physical defect? Unruffled. Which surprised even her, I think, judging by the fact that she mentioned it.
But I get it. I totally get it. I think that baby's arms and legs could all fall off, and ... while that might rattle her slightly ... it would in no way affect the unwavering, almost insane devotion her heart feels for that chubby little blob of cooing, drooling, gurgling, toddling humanity.
This dovetails on my (lack of) exchange with Reed. Answer me or don't answer me, kid (see previous post). Nothing can diminish my love for you. Nothing can derail my conviction of your worth. Not even you can change how I feel about you. You cannot dampen my celebration of your life. You're SOL, kid. I love you, and you're not getting out of it.
But here's the thing: I DID NOT INVENT PARENTHOOD!
I did not create these feelings in myself. My love for my children exists only as a picture of GOD'S love for HIS children. I am convinced that my love for my children is downright tepid compared to God's love for His children. And my love for my children is ferocious. Ferocious.
And that is all I have to say on the topic. It speaks for itself. We do not live as if we have a Father who loves us with that kind of ferocity, do we? No. We don't.