“Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
Last night I lost it with my five-year-old son. He thought he was being funny, shouting some little phrase over and over again. I, on the other hand, thought it was annoying.
“That’s enough.” I kept telling him. “No more yelling, please.”
But his shouting only grew louder, as did my scolding, until he reached a pitch that made my ears ring. I leapt up from my seat and stormed across the room. The smile on my son’s face was instantly replaced by look of terror and before I could even give voice to my anger, he had run away from me to cower in the corner.
My son is afraid of me! The realization hit me like a freight train, and at the same time I was flooded with a wave of remorse. Remorse for losing my temper, for not handling the situation better from the outset, for not being the kind of mom I aspire to be.
There are a lot of things about my children that exasperate me. Their temper tantrums. Their inability to reason and listen. Their tendency to take away my sleep and leave a trail of graham cracker crumbs all over my house. But in today’s Gospel, our Lord tells us that in order to enter His Kingdom, we must become like children. So what is it about these little humans that we are supposed to emulate?
It’s the simplicity of heart. The total dependence. The perfect trust.
Not two minutes after I had lost my temper with my son, he was giving me a hug, asking for my help with his train tracks, and telling me that he wanted me to lay down with him when it was bedtime.
I fail daily as a parent, and still my children keep coming back to me with all of their cares and needs. How much more should we be able to trust in and depend on our Heavenly Father, who is good and perfect and deserving of all our love?
Instead of feeling stuck in a place of remorse over our failings, let's turn to Our Heavenly Father with love and appreciation today.
Anna Coyne is a Saint Paul native, wife, mother, and convert to the Catholic faith. When not chasing after her two young children you can probably find her playing the piano, knitting, tripping over wooden train sets, or writing. Find out more about her here.