How Do I Love Thee…Let Me Count The Ways

Ruth Davidar Paul   |   September 10, 2019 

Love – poets have written about it, musicians have sung about it, and artists have painted about it. The emotion has been well documented, researched, examined, experienced and yet, humankind only seems to scratch the surface. The more you study it, the more you find to study. No wonder God is described as love – unfathomable, inexplicable, limitless.

Recently I had a brief glimpse of God’s love for us and our love for Him and it so moved me that I needed to write about it – to add my two cents to my understanding of this wonderful emotion.

The Father’s Heart

My six-month-old has recently been trying to sit up. He’s like a round-bottomed flask at the moment, so he wobbles wildly and generally keels over after managing to get upright for two seconds. That doesn’t deter him though, and he’s back up trying to maintain balance and sit straight. The other evening he was on the floor trying this again. My husband was sitting on a chair beside him, keeping watch. As I looked at both of them, I noticed that my son was playing blissfully on the floor, looking at the ground, completely unaware that he could fall and bang his head at any moment. His father was keeping a watchful eye on him though, his legs positioned on either side of his son so that he wouldn’t hurt himself even if he fell. He was just watching his son play, a smile on his face as he enjoyed seeing his antics. And it struck me that this is how God looks at each of us. He is always watching over us, protecting us from harm, but more than that, enjoying being with us.

Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Seeing my husband and son together, I could well imagine how a father would enjoy being with his child, and that glimpse revealed a bit more of my Heavenly Father’s heart – He delights to be with me. He doesn’t look at me as a chore or a work in progress, but rather finds joy in seeing me!

The Child’s Response

I know what you might be thinking right now – oh yeah that is God. He is love so He can love us blah blah. What’s new? Well, I think what struck me was how the child responds to that love. Again, it was my six-month-old who showed me this truth.

My daily routine consists of feeds, playtime, and nap-time (not mine; the baby’s!). If I need to get any work done, the only way I can concentrate is if I buckle him into his bouncy chair and give him his toys. This chair of his is placed diagonally behind mine when I’m working at the computer; that way he can see me while he’s playing, and I can hear him if he cries.

One day, I’d settled him in and was busily working on something. My mind was completely preoccupied when I suddenly glanced back to look at my son. He’d been silent for a while but when I looked at him, I noticed that he wasn’t asleep; he was just watching me, patiently waiting for me to turn around. And the moment I did, his eyes lit up and he flashed me his adorable gummy grin. He was just so pleased to see me, it was written all over his chubby little face!

This was not a one-off, but happens every time. And I wondered, how much joy my son experiences just by catching a glimpse of my face. It thrills and excites him and he bounces up and down in happiness.

If this is how a child responds to a human parent who is imperfect and fallible, imagine how much more joyfully we should respond to our Divine Parent who is perfect and whose love is infallible. I realised that the more I learn to concentrate on Him, the more elation I would experience because the more I see, the more I love. The more I know and understand who my Lord is, the more I will fall in love with Him.

I think this is one of the reasons why God tells us to become like little children – we can learn a lot from them!

 

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

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Ruth Davidar Paul is a freelance copy editor and content developer, who loves rummaging through used books stores and collecting old books. Apart from filling her home with overflowing bookcases, she enjoys deep conversations, jigsaw puzzles, painting, and daydreaming. She currently lives in Chennai with her husband Abhishek and their children Abigail, Jordan, and Amy.

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