My daughter doesn’t understand me. I think she probably recognizes me — my voice, maybe my smell. But she doesn’t truly understand me; actually, I wonder if she gets me at all…. She doesn’t know my goals in life or what I hope to accomplish before I’m 40; she doesn’t even remember how old I’ll be next year. It’s just as well, though, because she doesn’t understand time, and I’m convinced she’d only be confused were I to explain it to her. She can’t grasp that I was responsible for creating her, and she for sure can’t make sense of how it happened. She doesn’t know what I like and enjoy; she can’t name even one of my hobbies, my favorite food, or what color shirts I like to wear. Even worse, she refuses to ask me those deep get-to-know-you kind of questions; she won’t engage me in conversation at all. She has no idea what to get me for Christmas, and will probably forget me altogether. And when I want to spend quality time with her, she almost always prefers to eat, sleep, or poop.
Don’t get me started on how she can’t fathom the depths of my love for her or to what lengths I would go in order to protect her. She can’t possibly comprehend my desires to provide for her and for her to be happy. I change her diaper in order to remove her from the mess she herself has made, and she complains. I bathe her and dress her, and she whines about the way I do it. Every time she’s needed something, no matter how inconvenient for me, I’ve quickly come to her side and taken care of her. Yet, still, with every new problem, she cries as if she can’t trust me to come to her aid this time. Certainly she mistakes my acts of love as acts of torture… neglect at best. And just as surely, she questions whether what I’m doing for her is indeed what’s best. If she only knew how much I love her. And I love her so.
My children don’t understand me. They know about me — who I am, what I’ve accomplished in the past. But I know they don’t truly understand me; actually, I wonder if they get me at all…. They often forget my purposes in the world, and what I will accomplish before the end of time. They don’t get the whole time thing either; they seem only to understand “now,” as they give my glory to instant gratification. They know me as their creator, but often forget the implications of that fact — that I know them better than they can know themselves. I’ve told them on numerous occasions what I enjoy, and what pleases me. But they either forget, or were never listening in the first place. I grin every time they’re obedient to my commands. I’m tickled to see them exercise unity. I smile when they take care of those less fortunate than themselves. But the only consistent offerings they make are songs, sermons, and Sunday mornings. They won’t pour out their hearts to me or talk with me about deep things; they rarely engage me in conversation at all. When I want to spend quality time with them, they’d rather eat, sleep, or poop.
Please don’t get me started on how they can’t fathom the depths of my love for them or to what lengths I would go in order to protect them. They can’t possibly comprehend my desires to provide for them and for them to be happy in me. I sent my Son to rescue them from sin and the impending death they brought on themselves, and they argue with one another about what part they’ve played in the process. I provide them with everything they need for abundant lives, full of peace and joy, and they make excuses about later and money and family and American football and internet. I’ve always been here for them; I even gave them the Holy Spirit to live inside their very bodies. Yet every time there’s a problem, they become anxious and frantic, putting trust in their own power, while forgetting I’m here. Certainly they mistake my acts of love as acts of torture… neglect at best. And just as surely they question whether what I’m doing in their lives is indeed what’s best. If they only knew how much I loved them. And I love them so.