If I can love my daughter so much, being finite and imperfect, how much more does God, who is infinite and perfect, love me?
When I hug Maya or kiss her on the cheek, it’s such an understatement. The love I feel when I hold her in my arms is overwhelming, like a small cup under a running faucet at full force.
I suffer her whining, crying and childish stubbornness because I feel so much joy seeing her laugh, smile and learn. I imagine God is the same with me; patiently suffering my spiritual childishness until I’m mature enough to look up/turn in and say, “Thank you, Lord.”
I imagine God just wants me to love Him because that’s all I want from Maya. I patiently wait for the day when she’ll say, “I love you, Daddy” and show me through her actions. God is waiting for me to say, “I love you, Lord” and show him through my good works.
My daughter is a teacher in my spiritual life. For example, Maya is not content with just my presence when she’s playing. I can’t be on my smartphone surfing the Internet, or read a book. I have to watch her. I can’t watch from afar, either. Maya will take my hand and try to pull me up. “Daddy up! Sit here,” and she points to the floor next to her.
My daughter’s lesson is that I have to ask God to be actively present when I’m at work/play, just like she asks me to be actively present. (I’m embarrassed to admit that I often don’t want God around because I don’t want him to know what I’m doing.)
If not for the Holy Spirit, I would still be a selfish father. I would refuse her request because I think its enough that I’m there; she could go on playing while I do my own thing. When I reflect on this, what appears to be a benign action might actually have a huge impact on her life. I’m Maya’s first experience of what a loving father is like. If I’m a bad example, then I will make her discovery and love for her Heavenly Father very difficult.
At some point in my life, I stopped asking my dad to watch me play because I knew I’d be rejected. God, I pray that I’ll have the grace to always say “yes” to watch my children play.