While sitting on our couch yesterday afternoon playing with Paisley kitty, Jessie went upstairs to grab the green spray bottle in case we needed to discipline our sweet putty tat (a great deterrent for unruly cat behavior). After grabbing the squirter, Jess started bounding down the stairs. Suddenly, I was startled by a huge thud and then many subsequent bumps. I looked up to see my little girl tumbling, like a cartwheel gone awry, all the way down our hardwood stairs.
My heart instantaneously began racing, and before she had even started to cry, I bolted over there and scooped my lady into my arms. Secure in my embrace, Jessie’s spicket of tears burst.
“Are you okay, Sweetie? Where does it hurt?” I asked, while feeling deeply my own heartache knowing she was in pain.
“My noggin,” she sobbed, placing her hand on the back of her head, “And my back, and my foot.” She moved her hand to her big, now red, toe.
“Oh, I am so sorry, Sweet Bug! I’m so sorry you fell down the stairs,” I consoled, rubbing her head and checking her back to assess the degree of injury.
It didn’t take long for her sobbing to turn to a whimper as she snuggled into the comfort of my arms while I showered her with soft kisses. Meanwhile my heart was still pounding erratically in my chest.
“I love you,” I whispered in her ear. “I love you so much!” Yet, I was entirely aware of how incapable these words were of fully expressing how deeply my heart is tied to her and how affected I am by her pain.
Before I knew it, Jessie had popped up out of my arms, wiped the tears from her eyes, and was jumpin’ and playin’ in the living room as if nothing had ever happened. But, as I watched her bound over the ottoman, the bruise on her back visible to me, I was still reeling from the fall, triggering the realization that I was likely hurting more from the experience than she was; her pain was essentially more painful for me.
Which caused me to consider…
Could it actually be that God has felt and does feel my pain even more acutely than I do? Does his love for me run so deeply that when he sees me struggling or hurting, his heart breaks more than my own? Are words even incapable of fully expressing how deeply his heart is tied to mine and how affected he is by my pain?
In certain ways it is hard to imagine. Though I may believe it in truth, sometimes I don’t feel it experientially—truthfully, sometimes God feels callous and distant in my sorrows and his love eludes me. But as a perfect Father, a parent who cares more deeply and fully than I can even fathom, it seems impossible not to conclude that God’s love must be demonstratively greater than any parent’s compassion for their hurting child.
I know what I felt watching Judson suffer…God feels that kind of love for me?!