Thursday, October 28, 2010
God and Children
My mother has this old picture of me as a baby. In it I'm dressed in a long white gown and am laying in her arms with my father and a few other family members surrounding me, all looking down towards the little babe whom was that days main event. That photograph was taken the day of my Catholic baptism.
Ironically, from what I can remember, that was most likely the one and one church visit that I had with my parents. My mom and dad were more of the non-practicing variety or maybe they were home-based Catholics, stealing away a few quiet moments that I've never seen, which I would like to believe is true. Either way, the topics of God and the Bible were not a present ones during my childhood.
It pains me to say that for a long time I grew up not believing in anything at all. I was good at questioning authority, history, and literature, but most certainly not my own existence. I never had the comfort of prayer and the joy of knowing that I was loved and that I was placed on this earth with a purpose.
And then I was on the receiving end of not one, but two miracles: the births of my children. The first time I was able to stare into their eyes I just knew that something much much greater than myself not only existed, but was in complete control of my life. It was like a long dormant light switched on inside of my heart and I was really able to see the world for what it is, temporary.
And so I became more invested in educating myself, and in learning about the world my curiosity about religion began to expand. Literature, sciences and philosophy created new questions, all of which I needed to find the answers to. Over the next several years I engaged in a quest for answers and began to pray. I questioned everything, not out of cynicism, but in honor of independent thinking, and freedom of thought. So when the time came for me to introduce my children to God, it felt natural and it felt right for me and for our family.
I don't want my children to grow up as I did, without a set of ideas and beliefs and without the comfort of knowing and loving Jesus. I don't have any of those beloved baptism photos of my children. And truth be told I probably won't for awhile. When I was placed in that water I was just a baby and had no idea what it stood for. I'm choosing to educate my boys on the love of Christ first. And then they will decide for themselves, if they choose to do so.
Each night, after I lay my head down upon my pillow, I close my eyes and I pray silently to God. I know that he hears me and I know that he is answering those prayers. I ask him to walk with my boys and to lead them in the right direction on the path of this life. I ask him to deliver to them the overwhelming joy of knowing that God is real and that he loves them unconditionally.
Because to feel loved, honestly and truly loved, by the Lord is the most amazing feeling that there is.