When my baby looks at me with a look of absolute love and adoration it can, at times, make me a little uncomfortable.
I say to her, “Now calm down there little baby. You haven’t really gotten to know me. I am far from perfect and have many, many, many faults.”
She ignores me and continues on with that gaze of total love.
I can relate to Saint Peter when he tells Jesus “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
It’s unnerving to have innocence and love personified staring at you. Especially when you, yourself, are not innocent and, at times in your life, have been very unloving.
Each time I’ve had a baby, and I’ve looked down at that tiny, perfect human being made just for me, I’ve thought, why did God choose me for this baby’s mother? There are millions of women out there that are far better than me. There are so many women much more deserving of that look of devotion.
Thankfully, a baby doesn’t need us to be perfect to transform us and neither does God.
I’ve learned, with much gratitude and humility, that God likes to work with the imperfect. He doesn’t send me babies to mock me or to remind me of how unlovable I am. He sends them to challenge me to rise up and earn their adoring stare. To be better so as not to shrink so much under their innocent regard.
Like Peter, God wants to take my imperfection and build something on it. Probably not a church, but something. Maybe a beach shanty?
The point is, God doesn’t need people to be perfect in order to work with them. He needs them only to be willing to be worked with.
And boy did he find my weak spot when he started including babies in His work with me. How could I not want to be better? How could I not want to be more worthy of the absolute love radiating from their sweet, pure faces?
I hope to imitate Peter and focus on their love and not my faults. To stand before the innocence of my children, vulnerable though I am, and say only, “You know that I love you.”