This is perhaps the most meaningful and humbling note I have ever received. I found it in my daughter's school journal, sent home by her teacher at the end of the school year. According to Maryn, the students were given a writing assignment to complete each morning of kindergarten. Sometimes they would be told what to write, and other times they were free to choose the topic. I'm pretty sure this is an example of the latter. Although her teacher had corrected my emerging young writer's "god" to "good", I wonder about the original intent. Aren't parents the first images of God a child has? Isn't our goal to model God's love and affirm that our child is a beloved and good creation of God?
Ah, this is what cuts me the deepest in parenthood...the sense of failure at this primary responsiblity to train up a child in God's way, in God's love. So many times I become like an Old Testament god full of wrath and punitive retribution. It becomes all about the law instead of the Spirit, until the rules and my standards become gods in themselves. I forget the grace I have been shown. I forget to share that gift with those closest to me, whose eyes are always watching, always learning. But, oh, the grace they show. When I least expect it, they are reminding me that I am good, instead of the other way around.
She is just beginning to see herself as separate from me, although sometimes the line is blurred as we are so alike in temperament. I want to be a reflection for her of the beauty and creativity and love of God. I want her to see her worth not only in my eyes, but in God's. I long for her to dream vividly of what her world can be, full of faith and meaning. I hope that she will connect her life to the ongoing work of redeeming creation, to help bring about the Kingdom of God here and now. I want my work and ministry to be a model of that, but sometimes all the little "g" gods of success and busyness get in the way. I become impatient and too quick to judge. But I thank God for grace, particularly shown through a little blond-haired blue-eyed angel on earth that sees no distinction between good and god and me.