This morning I had an hour-long cuddle session with my 2-year-old. You should be jealous–it was heavenly.
He woke up an hour early and I decided not to stress about all that I could have accomplished in that hour. You could call it being lazy but I am choosing to call it taking time to just Be Still.
Maybe some of you mamas have experienced this half-sleep cuddle fun when your little one starts tracing the features around your face. My little guy was drawing invisible lines with his finger from my eyebrows to my nose and chin. It was tender. Then his sweet fingers went down to my double chin and I felt my muscles tighten instinctually. It’s one of those physical imperfections I am not proud of and try to hide at all times. Obviously I have trained my instincts to jerk away if someone touches my horrid physical flaw…
However, to my sweet son there was absolutely no judgement behind his tracing finger, but rather complete sincere love as he traced those features that defined who he called “mom.”
Our children definitely notice differences (and sometimes point them out in awkward and obvious ways that are not always culturally accepted…), but they notice them as a point in fact as opposed to a judgement. For example they may point out that the boy on the swings has dark skin or has big glasses just as we would say that their mom has curly hair or brown eyes.
My husband wears a hearing aide in one of his ears. My children happily sing a new verse of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” with dad that includes his feature of his hearing aide. The familiar game with a baby that asks, “Where’s your nose?!” has often included, “Where is Daddy’s hearing aide!?” at our house. It’s just part of life–no judgement.
Oh, to have the eyes of my children and only see facts without the ever-present lens of judgement! Our first impression of people is almost always how they look or what they are wearing or driving or living in. It’s an immediate habit for most of us, embedded into our perspective through years of culture and society, and we have to re-train our brains to dismiss those judgements to only see facts like a child does.
1 Samuel 16:7 says “…for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
I look forward to that day when our eyes will not be clouded with the cares of the world and we will be able to see each other for who we truly are. We have a long way to go to be able to see straight on someone’s heart but first we must look on each other as a child does: without the judgement.
I believe that a very important part of this is how we look upon ourselves. When you look in the mirror do you see all your imperfections that make you self-conscious or do you see yourself how your child does or how your Heavenly Father does?
For me, repairing my vision is a long process but it begins by not allowing those imperfections to shine brighter than who I am as a mother, wife, and daughter of God. I may see my flaws but I hope someday the light of Christ in my eyes shines brighter than them.
May we all be more mindful of the lens through which we view ourselves and others and strive to look upon the heart–particularly when we look in the mirror–and be mindful of the power we give those imperfections in our mind regarding how we define ourselves. It can be challenging at times to see ourselves as God sees us, but next time you see your reflection try to see yourself as a child would.