And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.” – Luke 3:22
When the Father blessed Jesus at his baptism with these words, I knew I’d heard them before.
It was when my little boy, while we were walking, put his small hand in mine and said, “When you hold my hand, it makes my heart happy.”
It was when my little girl, sitting in a high chair with a Twinkie smushed over her face, exclaimed with pure joy as I came home from work, “Daddy home!!!”
In such times, and millions of others, I would look at my kids and repeat with the Father, “I love you dearly—in you I find happiness!”
Maybe love happens when we can look at someone and find ourselves feeling warm deep inside. It’s so easy with my children. They weren’t, and aren’t, saints of course. Neither are they different from anyone else’s kids. But there’s just something about them that melts my heart. Makes me yearn to spend time with them. Enables me to look past their faults.
Have you ever noticed how that may be a little more difficult with other persons’ kids? They are just as adorable as mine. When we see them behave badly (like on a plane?), our smile may flicker a bit. We aren’t as quick to “find happiness” in them.
But what do we not understand about the unconditional part of unconditional love?
Maybe the key to loving as Jesus loves is trying to find happiness in another person, regardless. That doesn’t mean overlooking or excusing tacky things they say or do. But it does mean looking past the surface and remembering they are Someone else’s child, simply trying to find their way.
After all, we share the same Parent.