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An Example of Love
by Sherry Castelluccio 
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Yesterday my seven- year daughter came to me with a startling confession. Mom, Ive been thinking some mean things about you lately. Pause.

Really? What kinds of mean things?

Well, I dont want to tell you because it will hurt your feelings.

Its ok, I can handle it. Tell me what youre thinking.

I really dont want to. At this point her eyes welled up with tears and threatened to spill over. It took me the better part of ten minutes to coax her out of her hovel of fear and share those forbidden secrets.

Ive been thinking that youre really mean and I dont like you. Another pause. It took me a full minute to collect my bearings before I could answer her.

What could I have possibly done that would make you not like me?

Well you yell at me and it hurts my feelings.

By now were both trying not to cry and Im battling feelings ranging from extreme guilt to anger to flashbacks of my own dysfunctional childhood. I finally settled on defense.

I see. Well, heres the thing. While I agree that yelling is wrong and its something I shouldnt do, there is a reason why I raise my voice. When I cant get your attention or when Ive repeated myself so many times that I feel like Im going to go crazy and youre still not doing what youre told, thats when I yell. I know I shouldnt do it and it is something Im working on. How about if we make a deal? If you promise to start listening more and doing what youre told the first time, I promise that I will not raise my voice and yell at you. Does that sound fair?

The tears finally gave way as she nodded her agreement. I hugged her and told her that I loved her, that she was still my favorite little girl in the whole world and that I loved her more than chocolate and puppies and new shoes. I thought we were ok. I was wrong.

This morning she came to me again with another confession. She was still thinking mean thoughts about me. This time I cut right to the chase.

Baby, youve got to stop this. Remember the memory verse weve been working on? Whatever things are true, honest, lovely, pure (Apparently were working on memorizing the verse together) She shook her head up and down.

You have to kick those mean things out of your head. The truth is that Im not mean. I let you spend time with your friends after school, I buy you new clothes and toys, and Im even planning a birthday party for you. Do you know that I didnt have any of those things when I was a kid?
You didnt?

No. I was not allowed to play with friends after school and I never got new clothes. You have your own room. Do you know I had to share a room with my brother? I think youre pretty lucky, dont you?

This time the tears came much faster. She hugged me and told me she was sorry for thinking those things about me. She thanked me for all the things I do for her. I told her that even if she thought those things all the time and never thanked me for anything I would still love her. Even if she was very mean and told me she hated me, I would still love her and want to do nice things for her. Then a sobering truth stabbed me in the gut.

Do you know that God feels the same way? Even when we get angry and decide we dont like him or the way our life is going, he still loves us and still wants to do nice things for us? Even when we think that life isnt fair, that were not getting what we should be getting, God still loves us the same and still wants to know and fellowship with us. How cool is that?

I came home and repented on the spot. For two weeks Ive been harboring anger, depression, and malicious thoughts toward others. Ive been in a rage because Ive been in physical pain and because my living situation is less than ideal at the moment. Ive been avoiding God because my own self- pity has overtaken any rational thoughts or actions. Like my daughter, Ive chosen to see the negative things rather than the positive. The truth is that God still loves me, he still wants me to be happy, and he still wants to fellowship with me. He doesnt care that Im angry. He just wants to hear me say that I love him. In fact, Im willing to bet that hed settle for any conversation, just so long as Im not avoiding him anymore.

Jesus understands my pain and frustration. Hes been there. He knows what its like to be uncomfortable and Im sure at times hes wished for different living conditions. If I remember correctly, he didnt even have a permanent home. At the same time, none of these things ever stopped him from praising God and spending time with his father. He refused to allow his outside circumstances to prevent him from doing the will of his Lord. When he was called, he obeyed, no matter what obstacle was in front of him.

I am sobered and humbled at how much I still have to grow. Even after learning ways to beat depression at its own game, I still have the ability to wimp out. Id still rather hide under the covers than take up my sword and fight. The thing is, today I learned something. Every time I look at that beautiful child and tell her how much I love her, enough to die for her, I hear the words of my Daddy God.

Me too, my daughter. Me too.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Johnson 09 Sep 2009
Lovely analogy that shows the similarity between your love for your child, and God's love for His children. Thank you for sharing.
Mitzi Busby 13 Aug 2009
My sister, this is beautiful! I see myself in this article too. Most of all, I see our Father in it. Hugs.


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