Last week the Little One was suffering a virus which kept her up at night. In the afternoons she would fall into a deep sleep from which it was difficult to wake her up. The first afternoon I tried, I was confronted with angry resistance and a monotonous cry that just wouldn’t stop. I tried my best to be loving (grace obtained by Blessed Mother, I'm sure), but I am not the most patient and I seldom think outside the box. My husband got home from work and, thanks to his entrustment to Mary, and good sense of humor, it wasn’t long before he was carrying the Little One down the stairs smiling, and ready for dinner.
Flash forward to day two of the deep naps. I decided to use the same “tricks” that worked for my hubby. Well, it must be in the delivery, because I met with the same resistance, anger, kicking, and annoyance as day one. I thought I would trump all tricks this time and made a delicious smoothie to coax my tired girl into a better mood. No luck. My feelings were hurt! Why was I being treated so poorly? I hadn’t done anything wrong…what was UP?!
I retreated, leaving the smoothie at the bedside and called my husband in a fit of panic. My “plans” were being foiled. Pacing outside I shared my dilemma: “I’m just not mature enough to handle her bad attitude!” He told me to relax, that he was almost home. To ease my burden (I had an important work conference call that same evening) he was going to pick up the Little One and go out to eat with her leaving me free to get my call done.
I returned to the bedroom to find the Little One drinking the smoothie, but when her eyes caught mine she returned to her grumpy disposition. So, sitting down a good distance from her I simply said: “Dad’s almost home. He will take you out to dinner so I can do my work. You need to get ready to leave with him.” She got up and started toward the door, but instead of leaving, she turned and looked at me, stretched out her arms for a hug, and said in a gentle voice “I’m sorry.”
Wow. All my animosity and panic left instantly and I hugged her so tight! “I forgive you,” was my response.
Later that night it occurred to me. The whole UGLY episode was totally worth it since it led to the Little One experiencing contrition, and it led to my understanding God’s way of loving a little better. No longer was it about what I deserved or how she behaved, but it was about the beautiful spirituality of events that led us both to discover in a deeper way contrition and gratitude. I was now thankful for something that had brought me a lot of grief. Once again the Little One is Blessed Mother’s instrument to show me just how wonderful God’s love is. My lessons are gentle, in the privacy of my home and not in the public’s eye. How blessed I feel to be so small that the tiniest problems can lead me to the deepest truths!
or you are saddened,
you do not trust God
and you are not grateful,
you are making yourself similar to the lost sheep.
What does the Good Shepherd do then?
In response to your infidelity
He searches for you,
and immediately when you show contrition,
He takes you in His arms,
showing you this gesture, that He pardoned you already.
He wants you to know
that He loves you constantly,
m o r e
than before your fall.
That is when He loves you more than ever.
(S.C. Biela, In The Arms of Mary, 2nd. ed, rev. [Ft.Collins, CO: IAMF, 2005], 83.)