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pain, denial & my little girl

Lent has begun. I enjoy this season of reflection, confession and renewed focus with God. I've been feeling a little off as I adjust to life with a new baby. These next 40 days are just what I needed to find a new rhythm.

I was holding Isabella the other day as she drifted off to sleep. Her eyes were fluttering and her sleep smiles melted my heart. I got to thinking about how I feel about my daughter vs. how God feels about us.

God creates humans with all our wonderful complexities and beauty. God feels a deep love for each person created - they are unique, beloved and have a great purpose in the world. I feel the same about my daughter.

We sang yesterday in our Ash Wednesday service, "prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love..." We wander away from God easily. We chase money and how it makes us feel. Relationships take all our focus. A promotion or new job consumes our energy. We crave the latest technology update like it's a drug. We're lazy and waste our time on meaningless things.

We deny God with our lives. We deny the good things God has given us: compassion, care for the earth, taking care of our bodies, loving the stranger in our community, forgiving those who've hurt us and so on.

And now I understand a bit of what God might be feeling.

What if my daughter denied knowing me? What if after all the love, effort, tears, kisses and hugs, she turned her back on me? (Yes, yes, I anticipate this happening in about 13 years...but still...)

Gut-wrenching pain.

I can't describe how much I love this little girl. And because I love her that much, I have to prepare for the possibility that she'll deny me. I hope she doesn't. I hope we have a great relationship our whole lives. But that's unconditional love, right? We love people in our lives without condition. No matter what they do.

May we feel today how deep the love of God is for us. And give that kind of love to others.

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