Let’s call him John, and he was intent on having a large family. But I met him and his family on baby #3. He has 8 now. And he described how happy they all were most of the time with 3 kids in 4 yrs., meaning mom had one more in the oven.
He was used to coming home to noisy, happy milieu of games on the floor, mom with someone in her arms, cooing and musings, and tiny hootings.
One day, he tells, he entered his house and all the glee is was used to had turned into a pandemonium of cries, screams, disarray of …. everything!! Without having closed the door yet, he glanced at his usually calm, collected, smiley wife with a tot in her arms equally calm, collected and smiley. She looked desperate, tired, and quietly in anguish for her husband’s help.
There, somewhere among the toys, blankets, spills, vomit, cups, spoons, all over the floor was child #2, a 2 yr old, screaming, crying, thrashing and kicking on the floor.
Dad closed the door, dropping all he had in his arms on the floor and went immediately toward the tiny mayhem who upon seeing dad come towards him began to scream all the louder and began to crawl away. Dad tried over and over to pick him up…. The tot would wildly scream, arch his back, refusing to let dad touch him. Never mind that the diarrhea was burning his little butt and legs something awful, that the fever made him feel absolutely miserable, that he had thrown up all over himself and his little upper lip was bright red from the nose drips but he would not let dad come near.
Dad sat on the floor, near, just waiting for the tot to allow him to come near, softly inviting him to daddy’s arms. He chose to allow his little son to decide when he would accept daddy’s love. He would not allow mom near all day. This baby was in such a mess, feeling so sick and yet did not want to be touched by anyone.
As daddy sat on the floor, he would speak softly of how much he wanted to relieve his little tot of the terrible discomfort he was in, he thought how much his tiny mayhem needed to be cleaned and loved; he pondered why his little baby was so adamant….
He said that it was 45 minutes, 45 minutes whimpering in such awful discomfort as long as daddy did not move, not away, not closer. The baby laid on the floor for 45 minutes and dad asked again and to come to daddy, to let daddy love him.
Finally!! the little boy slowly walked to daddy and melted in dad’s arms this time crying of exhaustion, of pain, and relief. He laid his head on dad’s shoulder and dad got up and began to take his clothes off, and put him in a shallow tub of water, his little boy still unresponsive but allowing daddy to bathe him, but more than anything, to love him.
That night, as dad and mom laid in bed, he replayed that most unusual scene that his ordinarily loving, playful and charming little boy had shown him just how it is that we, God’s little tots act when we are deepest in sin, in anguish entangled in briers and thistle, overwhelmed by personal sin that eclipses the Face of God.
Daddy never saw the diarrhea or the vomit. Nor heard the screams and kicking, he saw a hurting little boy who needed love more than anything.
He realized that we act just like his little boy; we reject the One who can clean us off, heal our sickness, make us well and bring us into His rest. Abba’s Perfect Love is just too much to take when we are ugliness and repugnance.
Divine Mercy does not look at our leprosy, our stink, our rejection but the hurting little tot inside.