The Look of Love
The Look of Love
The time arrived and I rushed Pattie to Hospital for the birth of our first child. She was scared, but only seemed nervous. “Mr. Cool, Calm & Collected” was churning up inside! We held hands and all the while I tried to be encouraging and reassuring. They took us to the Delivery Room which was my cue to leave. It was uncommon, in those days, for fathers to attend for births. Pattie had other ideas! She had an iron grip on my hands and wasn’t letting go! I was given a medical gown and invited to stay.
The pain, the effort, everything Pattie went through was incredible. I recall telling her I’d never put her through such an experience again! As the baby began to appear, I was asked to step back, but not before I caught a glimpse of a tiny head, covered in thick black hair emerging into the world. When the baby arrived, the doctor said, “You have a beautiful daughter.” And she was… Wrapped in linen, she was given to Pattie to hold. The look in Pattie’s eyes – sheer love – was something I’ll never forget. Our daughter Nyree Justine had arrived into our lives. Jesus said, “When a woman is in labour, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world” [John 16:21].
Our baby daughter didn’t come with an instruction manual; she did come with something much better – she came with a mother! It was as if I witnessed two miracles that amazing day. The first was the miracle of birth; the second, the miracle of transformation. Before my eyes the beautiful woman I married was transformed from a wife to a mother. An innate knowledge, instincts, skills and understanding kicked in, as if everything in her life had prepared her for this new role – a natural mother. I was in awe.
“… Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward” [Psalm 127:3].
Over the next five years our family grew with another daughter and two sons -– despite my earlier statement that I wouldn’t put Pattie through such a painful experience again. It wasn’t all easy sailing! There were numerous speedbumps along the way, interspersed with seemingly insurmountable obstacles and no shortage of hazards and detours. We made mistakes – too many to count – and certainly things, with the benefit of hindsight, that might have been done differently. Yet, as a loving, caring family unit we met all challenges, including a few relocations, health matters that tested us, financial hardship, dilemmas and experiences with potential to tear us apart. There was also the agitation as each of our children became teenagers. Bringing up teenagers – a major challenge in itself!
The growth though wasn’t just in the size of our family; there was also the growth within Pattie and me and in our relationship. Love as a force of nature is bigger than us; it’s all of those things St. Paul says: “Love is always patient and kind; … never jealous … not boastful or conceited … never seeks its own advantage …does not take offence or store up grievances… does not rejoice at wrongdoing … finds its joy in the truth… always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. Love never comes to an end” [1 Corinthians 13:1-13].
There’s something about loving God with our whole hearts that naturally flows into loving others. Perhaps because God has created us in his own image, there’s a picture of him, a treasure from him, in each of us. When we see each other, we see a reflection of the Lord. The love you crave is already in your heart. You are love and can radiate love to others. Because I am love I can choose to show love. Acknowledge the great love God has for you by sharing it with each person whose path crosses yours
My greatest teachers about love, apart from God, are my loved ones. As one of my precious memories, I can look back to the birth of our daughter and see, through the eyes of my heart, the look of love of a mother for a child, and I still feel the awe.
Have a golden day and treasure life!