Friday, July 08, 2005

Charles: God's Object Lesson

On July 16th my son, Charles, is getting married. He is our middle child, a hard place to be in the family line-up. Perhaps that is why God chose Charles to illustrate how He loves me and all of His children.

My daughter, Amanda, was three and my son, Rob, was nine months when the doctor told me that there would be a new member joining our family. I can't say that this pregnancy wasn't planned, because we wanted a large family, it just wasn't our timing.

As the reality of a new baby sunk in, I began to hope for a girl. Amanda balked at my dressing her in frills, and Rob was all boy. I missed all the pink and lace. However, God had other plans.
When the doctor announced, "It's a boy," I have to admit that my heart sank a little. But when he laid Charles in my arms, it bounced right back up.

Later, while nursing him, I felt the guilt rise. How could I have wanted anyone but him? Tears filled my eyes as I begged forgiveness for my ingratitude. God answered me with a question.

"Do you love Charles?"
"Yes, Lord, so much it hurts. I look at him and can hardly breathe."
"Why do you love him?"

I thought about that for a little while. Charles finished nursing and I burped him. He spit-up part of his meal on my shoulder and the rest went in his diaper. After cleaning up both ends of my little son, I watched him as he slept. He looked like a little old man- bald, toothless, and wrinkled. He demanded to be fed, warm, clean, and dry without as much as a smile in gratitude. Charles could do nothing to earn my love. And yet, I loved him with my life. The only answer I could give God was, "I love him because he's mine."

"That, my daughter, is why I love you."

Wow. What a revelation! God loved me even when I'm was unlovely, messy, ungrateful, or demanding. In fact, there was nothing I could do to earn His love. He had to send His Son, who loved me so much, it hurt.

Today, Charles is twenty-five and six foot three inches tall. No longer a baby - but always my baby.

Next Saturday as I watch him pledge his love to Kasey, I know I'll remember my tiny brown-eyed baby and the lesson of love that he brought. And I'll confess that I'm already hoping for and looking forward to the day when he holds one of God's little "object lesson on love" in his arms!

Congratulations and many blessings on you both, Charles and Kasey. I love you.