Every day, I compulsively exclaim, “You are the cutest in the whole wide world! I can’t handle your face! I love your cheeks!” and other semi-intelligible comments. Do other nannies do this? I don’t know… but I can’t help it. Affection for these two little nuggets pours out of me. I hope I love my future kids this much!
The baby I watch just started saying “hi” and “bye bye.” She still requires a lot of diaper changes. She’s a solid baby who can’t walk yet, so I get a nice arm and core workout from carting her around. Thirty percent of her body weight is in her cheeks. She’ll spot a toy and hurtle toward the floor with reckless abandon. She gets so tired and hangry that she yells and flails instead of eating. Everywhere we go, people stop me to tell me how adorable she is. She smiles and waves and laughs most of the time. She does a lot of things, but none of them particularly merit the love I have for her.
She hasn’t earned it, and she doesn’t care that she hasn’t earned it. She just enjoys the ride and laughs as I blow raspberries. She eats, plays, and spends a lot of time cuddling. In this relationship, I do all the work. And I don’t care, either. I don’t expect her to make my lunch. I only expect her to eat what I feed her and let me change her diaper.
I have nothing to offer to God. In the grand scheme of things, the baby can offer more to me that I can give to my Heavenly Father. Jesus said that we must become like children. “Little ones” have nothing to offer, live without pretense, and accept that which is graced upon them.
I’m learning how to be loved by God. I’ve been betrayed and broken, neglected and ignored, and the idea of an all powerful and all loving God baffles me. We judge our Heavenly Father by our earthly one, and no one has perfect parents. So we assume that God loves us with strings attached. We guess that He either doesn’t know or want what’s best for us. Maybe He’s absent, controlling, or manipulative. Maybe He’s abusive and harsh. We’ve never been loved completely, so we can’t fathom affection like this. How do we learn to trust in someone we can’t see who loves us beyond our imagination?
We accept it. We open wide and taste that the Lord is good. We let Him clean off our crap and wash us white as snow. We trust that He won’t drop us, even when we throw ourselves at all that glitters. We become like the little children, for the kingdom of heaven is given to such as these.