Friday, January 18, 2013
"I Love You, And God Loves You"
A couple months ago, we finally had our youngest child baptized. He's ten years old. All five of my other children were baptized when they were much younger (all were babies except for one who was 3 at her baptism). Up until we actually had this ten year old baptized, I had chastised myself for waiting so long. He was going to be baptized when he was a baby, but circumstances at that time kept this from happening. And then, I just got lazy.
Now, as I look back on this laziness and complete lack of spiritual guidance I should have provided to my children, I'm actually grateful. There has been a strange good which has come from this delayed event. First, for my son, he will always remember what it was like to be baptized. He will be able to hold onto the memory of him being able to answer for himself that he renounces the devil and accepts the Lord. This is something most of us cannot recall. The closest I have to such an experience or memory is detailed in a prior entry of mine - "Water". It's an incredible feeling every time I look back on that day, and I can only imagine how powerful a memory it will be for my son to remember his actual baptism.
But, not only did this event give my son a powerful memory and lesson, but it also bestowed on me a reminder, a lesson, something which can only be considered a gift....
A couple weeks before his baptism, we were asked to meet with the pastor so that the sacrament of Holy Baptism could be explained to my son. As he would be answering for himself, it was important that he understood, at least to a degree, what baptism is about. Somewhere in this lesson, the pastor had made a request of my son... the pastor told him that whenever he tells me he loves me, he should also remind me that, like my son, I am a beloved child of God. He told him to say, "I love you, Mom, and God loves you." And, it was suggested I do the same.
At the time, this sounded a little silly, I have to admit. It was adorable, but silly. And I didn't think it would last beyond that meeting in the church. I was wrong.
It has been nearly two months since that meeting, and not a day goes by when my son doesn't say (at least 2 or 3 times daily) "I love you, Mom, and God loves you." And I say it to him as well... although he always beats me with the "and God loves you" portion (he sometimes tries to race me in saying it).
Those of you who have kids... you know that one of the most precious thing a parent can hear is their child say the words "I love you, Mom" or "I love you, Dad." These words will instantly warm your heart, and calm your troubled mind. But to hear this same child remind you that you are a beloved child of God? That God loves you? I don't think I can adequately explain the power behind these simple words. It truly is an incredible feeling. The sweet declaration of the love of your child may warm the heart and calm the mind, but the added affirmation of God's love - this soothes the soul. This brings peace. And because of this simple recommendation my son received, I get the privilege of experiencing this peace at least a few times a day.
1 John 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.