James just turned five months old! He is such a sweetheart and also a little stinker.
In these past five months, I am continuously inspired by the love of a child. The look he gives people is incredible. The joy he brings people is amazing.
I’ve really seen this while bringing James with me to meet with students on the UF Campus. There have been two times that I have walked away from an encounter, my heart stirring from the love my child has shown a stranger.
What’s so incredible about it is that it’s natural. A love embedded into my child’s nature- simply because he was made in the image and likeness of God- like all of us……but James has been untainted by selfishness, by sin (Thanks Baptism for wiping out that Original Sin!)
About these two encounters. The first I took James to meet up with Catherine- a senior that I met earlier this year at a Newman Club Dinner. My intention for our meeting was to get to know her better and ask her into a Bible Study.
Catherine and I decided to meet up at the Dunkin’ Donuts next to our Church. As soon as we walked in many of the cashiers fawned over James, reaching out to hold his hand or tell him how cute he is. James is quick to smile and gave all of these people huge grins.
What really touched me was while Catherine was holding James I was able to see how the students walking in and waiting in line were reacting to my son. Young and old, men and women, were openly receiving joy from my son’s smiles.
I was struck while watching this with a thought and prayer that if anyone in this room had encouraged someone they knew to have an abortion or were contemplating/suffering from having an abortion that their heart would be open to choosing life and for healing.
A prayer that they would receive deep joy from the sight of my son- from the sight of life.
The next encounter: There are many homeless people in Gainesville. The warmer weather brings many people here rather than up north. It’s an area that I am not accustomed to. I’ve encountered people who are homeless in controlled settings of soup kitchens etc.
Here I have had many encounters with homeless men and women catching me off guard in my everyday life. I am thankful that God continues to stretch my heart with these encounters.
In particular there are a couple of men who hang around our Catholic Center. I’ve had conversations with them before by my child. My five month old baby took love even further.
He reaches out for their hands. To touch them. To hold them.
My baby- unaware of the repercussions and beauty of his actions is teaching me to love.
I recently started a book on Blessed Mother Teresa. Her mom, Drana, responded to a question about who the people were that she kept inviting to eat with them, “Some of them are our relations, but all of them are our people.”
My baby is asking me- showing me how to live this out.
Thank you Jesus for the gift of James.