Today, I had the privilege of driving home an exhausted teenager, who fell asleep in the front seat. I remembered when he was two, and I'd drive him around in his car seat, trying to get him to take a nap while his big brother was in afternoon kindergarten.
As I drove, I started humming, "O Come All Ye Faithful." I got to the chorus in my mind: O come let us adore him....and I felt adoration toward my teen and his brother. Then their wonderful friends starting parading through my mind, and I adored them. Then, I thought about all the kids, boys in particular because that's what was on my mind, who have a lack of adoration in their lives. I thought of all the boys I've worked with over the years who would have been described as anything but adorable, and what a tender place I've always had in my heart for them--the trouble-makers, the less than hygienic, the invisible, the passive-aggressive, the abused, the neglected, the gang members, the heartsick, the lonely and friendless.
Doesn't every child deserve to be adored? Not in a "you can do no wrong" way or in a way that excuses behaviors that are wrong or harmful. Adored in a "you are adored because you exist" kind of way. In a "nothing you could ever do would make me stop loving you" kind of way. Actually, doesn't every one of us deserve that?
Really, that's the message of this week in advent: love. God loves each and every one of us that way, even when we forget, or haven't learned yet that Her love is there. God loves us because we exist, and He always will, no matter what.
This week, find a way to adore your children, no matter how old they are. Adore your grandchildren, your spouse, your friends, your nieces and nephews. Do an experiment and go forth knowing you are adored. If you have done something less than adorable, make amends and move on. Carry the adoration in your heart and spirit as you prepare for the greatest love of all, who is coming. For you.