So ... assuming that you have a pulse and are not a cold-hearted psycho-path ... this picture probably evokes a sense of "Awwww. That's cute" from you. This is our son, Judah, and to date, this is my favorite picture of him. It was just me and him on this night having fun together. His smile lights up his whole face ... and my heart.
I believe that we have feelings within us that only a baby can evoke. Even the hardest of men can be softened by a baby's laugh or smile. This picture melts my heart, fuels my love for my son, and ignites every fatherly urge I have to protect and provide.
Monday morning I was reading the Bible and came across this verse: "'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the LORD, who has compassion on you." (Isaiah 54:10) The specific Bible study I was going through described the original Hebrew word for "compassion" like this ... "to soothe, to cherish, to love deeply like parents ... this verb usually refers to a strong love which is rooted in some kind of bond ... small babies evoke this feeling."
Reading that literally caused me to stop in my tracks, probably because my wife and I are, once again, in the midst of raising a small baby. The study continued to say that all our lives God retains the same feelings toward us that infants evoke in their parents. Wow! I look at the above picture of my son and my heart melts, my love is fueled, and my urge to protect and provide is ignited. Those are the feelings that are evoked in me. I have to believe that when God looks at me, to some perfect degree, He experiences the same type of feelings. No matter how I feel about myself ... no matter what is going on around me ... no matter what others think about me ... every time God looks at me, He looks at me with a strong love that is rooted in a bond that will never be broken. And, while the ultimate goal of my parenting is to raise my children to become less dependent on me, the ultimate goal of God's "parenting" is to raise His children to become more dependent on Him.
"The LORD is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him." (Psalm 103:13). How thankful I am to be loved like that!