I wake up every morning with a smile on my face looking forward to what is about to take place. Every morning, without fail, when I hear rustling in my younger daughter’s room, I walk in and say good morning, and am rewarded with a smile. It is an indescribable smile. It is innocent and loving, glorious and sublime, a smile that is Shakespearean in its ability to convey the deepest of emotion and the purest of intent. No words are spoken. No words are needed. That smile says it all, and it fills my heart to overflowing.
I relish every morning because I know at some point in the near future that smile will no longer greet me in the morning, but rather, like her older sister, I will be greeted with an oftentimes sullen “good morning daddy”, followed by “what’s for breakfast, or can I watch some cartoons.”
If you have children, you know what I’m talking about. That innocence and wonder dissipate at a certain point, and I know this because I lived it with my eldest daughter. By my calculation, I still have a good ten months of morning smiles that are like a starburst in the dead of night for my soul. After that, I may get the smile once in a while, but not every day, not every morning, it is not something I will be able to count on as surely as the rising sun.
As I have often said, I believe wholeheartedly that fatherhood allows you to understand the heart of God better than any seminary or workshop on divinity. This morning, as I walked into my daughter’s room anticipating that awe-inspiring smile, I couldn’t help but wonder if God’s heart is likewise filled when we greet him innocently and lovingly every morning and if He too anticipates with sadness a time when we will no longer do so?
I wonder, is this innocent, trusting, selfless smile the true meaning of first love? Is this innocence and excitement at seeing our Father every morning the thing we are warned against leaving?
Since I’ve never branded myself the perfect Christian, I can be honest with you and tell you that there are mornings when I catch myself going through the motions. There are mornings when rather than give God that loving smile, and bask in His presence, I give Him a “good morning, daddy.”
Maybe I’m in pain that morning, or I’ve got a lot on my mind, the mortgage is due, or I have to catch a flight, but whatever my excuse, this morning I couldn’t help but wonder if God misses my smile as much as I miss my eldest daughter’s smile whenever I don’t get it.
Whatever your circumstance, whatever your situation, whatever your trial, your hardship, or your thorn, greet God every morning with a smile. If His heart reacts to our smile as my heart reacts to my daughter’s smile, I know with certitude that it is something He looks forward to every single day.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.