The other day my son snapped a nail file of mine, and then I snapped at him. Unlike my other son who would quickly yell something back, this boy retreated. Realizing how careless I was in my response, I went to find him and when I did, I sat on the floor and he crawled into my lap and cried. I wrapped my arms around him and told him that I shouldn’t have reacted that way, and that the nail file wasn’t important, but he is. I covered him in kisses, and we moved on.
There was a time in our relationship that this situation would have turned into a more tense interaction involving many more tears and raised voices and hurt hearts. I’m far from perfect, but I’m better than I have been. Now I know that I have a sensitive little soul in my care, and even though I always know things will eventually be fine, he can’t always see that far ahead. That day, I knew that I was stressed and I was overreacting, but he only knew that he was getting yelled at. I used to get angry at him for not being able to get over things, but now I know better. To a small child, the world is a big, changing, and sometimes scary place. How overwhelming for them! And they come to us, hoping for a constant and deep current of patient and unwavering love.
I hate to admit it, my son has been a mirror to me. A great sin of mine is my tendency to despair; I think that my concerns are too great for God. I don’t bring them to Him, and instead I cling to my worries as if holding them tighter to my chest will resolve them. Oh, to be like my son and come to the Father, crawl into His lap, and let His love surround me.
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that the Lord reveals Himself to the childlike. (Matthew 11:25) So I come to Him again (and again and again) knowing that I can’t see the bigger picture, but everything is in His hands, and He knows everything will eventually be fine. I can thank Him even in my ignorance of the greater story being played out all around me.
I hope that we can trust that the Lord knows our hearts, and is with us in all of our concerns and fears, ready to pour His love out onto us.
Jacqueline Skemp is a daughter, sister, wife, and mother who endures living in Minnesota after leaving California for her one true love. You can find out more about her here.