Sunday, November 24, 2013

Starting to Understand the Compassion/Loving Kindness/Mercy of God

I was once told that the only way to begin to understand, even in the most basic of terms, the compassion/loving kindness/mercy (choose alternate noun) of God was to become a parent.  No child, no matter how well he or she is raised, no matter how good his or her intentions are will never ever love his/her parent as much as the parent loves him/her.  At the time I heard this I was single and was not planning on marrying, let alone have kids, but it stuck with me.

Fast forward several years and I am now happily married to a beautiful woman and am a father to wonderful little 16 month old son who is the light of every day.  His giggle alone is enough to forget everything that happened on the worst of days.  My son is at that age of temper tantrums and not taking a liking to the word "no."  He's also in the habit of throwing things which can really hurt you if they get you in the right spot.  I was sitting down next to my son who was playing with his toy piano.  He's able to hold it one hand and with it, he just smacked me across the cheek with it.  I went down.  That blow really hurt.  I immediately corrected him and took the piano away and then went to get some ice to counter any bruising or swelling that may ensue.

I sat in my chair for awhile icing down my cheek and for the rest of the evening, my son would come up to my chair and put his head down between my legs while grasping my knees.  When he came up to me, his expression was not a happy one, but almost as if he was experiencing some regret.  I wasn't mad at him; he simply doesn't know better at his age.  Nonetheless, it still looked like he was apologizing to me and feeling guilty about what he had done.  I didn't want my son to feel guilty or bad in any way so I picked him up and held him, assuring him that I was not angry and that I loved him.

At that one singular instance, I understood, as much as any human can, the compassion and mercy of God.  Here was this little boy, feeling bad (and it may not have been due to his hitting me, but this was too much of a coincidence) and coming to me.  And I, sitting in my chair, nursing my wound (which turned out to be nothing), was not angry in the least.  Would I have felt the same if my son didn't come up to me like he had?  I believe so.

We all wound God every day in our sins.  Does He still forgive even if we don't come up to Him and look like we're sorry?  Yes.  Do we understand why?  No.  While we dwell on earth, we cannot just openly look upon the majesty of God, but can only perceive Him and His Energies piece-meal and opaquely.  I started to understand.  God doesn't forgive because we're repentant (some of us; most, probably aren't), but because He loves and out of love created.  In the same way, I did not harbor resentment towards my little boy nor want him to be punished, but forgave him, not because of his act, but because he is my son.  A tautology, I'm sure and circular reasoning.  But if there is a better reason to forgive because I am someone's child, I don't know what it is and I don't want to know.

No comments:

Post a Comment