That look! Come on, we all know it. The look our kids give us that says, “Look at me!” or “Aren’t I special?” or maybe even a little bit of “I am in awe of you.” But one thing is true of our toddlers and little ones, they are always looking UP at us. For those of you who have little ones (or remember back when your now “big” ones could look up at you, instead of tower over you) you have come face to face with this look- and if your anything like me there are times it has stopped you dead in your tracks. Whether it is a simple question or one that you have no idea how to begin to answer; the 18th time you have asked them to get INTO the car and out of the puddle NEXT to the car; or the simple “I love you Mommy” that stalls your already late start to the day (and of course requires you to dig into you purse, grab your iphone, and take a quick pic) – you know, that look!
I wander if our eyes (our “look”) peer into the heart of God the same way our children’s do us? He knows the look. The one that says, “Look at me, I need some attention . . . . Am I really all that special? . . . . I just have one more question for you, one more prayer, one more need . . . I desperately want some time to play in the puddle and avoid getting into the car and off to start my full and busy day.”
Aren’t we always looking up to our Father? Maybe it is not “up” in the same sense as our kids, but the dynamics of our relationship never change do they? It will always be me who needs God, and not God who needs me. It will always be God with all the answers and understanding, and me who seeks more of what He has. And it will always be God who waits patiently for me to get out of the distracting puddle and back to the things he really wants me doing (all while acknowledging that sometimes playing in the puddle is exactly what we need and exactly what he wants for us). Most importantly, it will always be God who initiates relationship with us, and desires us as His created beings.
It is not that different from our relationship with our own sons and daughters. I mean I am always careful not to put myself in the role of God when creating this comparison. But I am also aware that we can learn a lot about God’s love through our relationship with our kids, about his desire to know us and be known by us . Adeline’s face says it all here: I am taken care of, I have what I need, I am at peace. It is cold out and I have gloves, a scarf, and a hat – life is good. This look says, “I love you”, and more importantly, “I know you love me!”
In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus says it like this, “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (7: 7-11).
Makes sense to us as parents, doesn’t it? I want to give my daughter everything! I love to see her smile, to know she is happy! But that doesn’t mean when she asks for chocolate covered pretzels for breakfast that she gets them. Sure, admittedly Adeline has more than millions of kids in our world, and there are times I don’t hold to “no” the way I should. And guess what? That is not always the best thing for her (but hopefully until this point at least it has not been anything detrimental to her health or general well being). There are times I know what she needs and I do everything I can to provide it, while at other times I give in when I shouldn’t (often when it is easier for me – anyone else out there?????)
The thing is, with God, he always knows exactly what we need and offers it to us – sometimes we do not see it, receive it, or let’s face it, like it. But he sees the look we are giving him, he knows the need behind that look (even though we may not always be in touch with the true need), and he responds. Why? Because God is love and as our Creator and Father, it is impossible for him to do anything to us or for us that is outside of the very Love he embodies. God never “gives in” and he never gives up.
Think about it. What do you need today? And I mean really need. This might be different from what you think you need. Identify the look you are giving your Father today. What does it say about where you are? Because it is right there, where God wants to meet you.