His face.

I looked into those dark eyes and wasn’t completely sure he even saw me. Newborns have questionable focusing abilities, right? But I was already memorizing his every tiny feature and tuned in to every faint sound, every little movement… AND. I. ADORED. HIM.

And then as real as the rhythm of my own heartbeat I heard the unexpected words, “That’s how I look at YOU, Marge.”

In those days, God’s voice wasn’t one I listened for very often. I’d sort of given up on the God of my childhood. That God was mostly critical and waiting for me to fail and looking at me with irritation and disappointment.

But for some reason, I still believed God was my Father and saw me as His child. And looking at my own son, my firstborn, I realized for the first time in my life what that actually meant – the bone-deep, fierce, nothing-will-ever-shake-my-love-for-you kind of DEVOTION.

And the startling truth was that it was a completely one-way deal at that moment. That little guy couldn’t do even one thing for me. He couldn’t help himself, let alone help me with anything. There were no conditions to my love for him. No reciprocal agreements between us. He couldn’t do anything for me, but I knew I’d do ANYTHING for him – sacrifice for, fight for, die for. Without one moment of hesitation.

And God whispered to my heart, “That’s how I look at you, Marge.”

While my perspective and focusing abilities are questionable, He is gazing intently into my face; He’s already memorized every feature of my soul and is listening intently to every cry of my heart. And His face is soft with love for me.

While I have not even one grand accomplishment to offer Him, His heart is BURSTING with affection for me.

While I am mere hours-old in the whole span of eternity, God has carefully planned for my life and committed Himself to me – for all of my days. He will fight for me. He has already died for me.

On the day I first saw my son’s face, I also saw God’s face in a brand new way. And it was an important mile marker in my God-journey: God’s defining posture toward me (toward you, too!) is as a loving mother bent over her newborn – attentive and adoring and ALL IN. He loves us BEFORE we ever grow up enough to love Him back.

So – happy happy happy birthday, Zach!!! From day-one you’ve been a Gift to us, and a picture of the Grace we longed for. We are so proud of you – the man of integrity you are, and the life and love you and Jessie are building together. Love you BIG!!!

~August 2, 2017~