I open my mouth wide as my face slowly descends towards the pair of big brown eyes staring at me intently. I begin to make chomping sounds like a hungry animal. A smile creeps across Samuel’s chubby face getting wider and wider before he unleashes a high pitched squeal of excitement. His little arms and legs start kicking in all directions unable to contain his body’s excitement. Over and over again we play our little game as if for the first time. Over and over again he watches my every move, eyes fixed on mine as he drinks in the affection and connection.
Of course, it wasn’t always this way. For the first couple of months of his existence Samuel really had no idea who I was, and the day will someday come where Samuel will try and pretend that he doesn’t know me. But right now in this season when Ali’s away at work, he’s always looking for daddy. When he squawks or rolls over or grabs a toy. After he emerges from underneath whatever sheet or blanket he’s pulled up to his face to try and eat, (don’t worry he’s well supervised!), he’s checking to make sure that I’m watching, and when we make eye contact the smile erupts again.
I wasn’t sure how long it was before Samuel was supposed to start teaching me things. I thought I had a little while yet, but over the past two weeks Samuel has been my spiritual sensai. He is teaching me about love and joy and the need to be fully present. When I look into his beautiful brown eyes so filled with wonder I am deeply humbled as I think about my relationship with my Heavenly Father. How would God describe the way in which I try and connect with him. What is the look in my eyes? Is there joy, wonder, love? Do I long to be with God? Do I want to look into the face of God and know him intimately, or am I content just to be near?
There is probably a reason Jesus didn’t say that we should enter the Kingdom of God like teenagers, but if I’m honest I’m much more like a teenager than a child with God most of the time. Perhaps what I’m finding out is that the life of Christian maturity involves a lot less growing up than it requires a growing down. It’s a lot more about being like Samuel than being like Simeon. So today I choose to seek the face of God and try to love Him like Samuel loves me.