Witnessing her daughter's relentless love for her brothers, Claire McGarry learns a bit more about God's relentless love for us.
As soon as I had kids, I began saying goodnight to them the same way my mother's been saying goodnight to my siblings and me ever since we were little: "Good night. God bless you. See you in the morning. I love you." At the age of ten, my daughter, Jocelyn, has taken it upon herself to carry the torch. She searches out her two older brothers before bed and hugs and kisses them, saying the same exact thing.
Most times, they're not receptive. They're teen boys, after all. Regardless, Jocelyn keeps hugging, kissing, and repeating the bedtime saying. In fact, recently, she's morphed the wording a bit so she can do it again every morning before she goes off to school.
Even when her brothers barely tolerate it, it's still such a sweet thing to witness.
On the way up to the bus stop the other day, I told her how proud I was of her for doing it. Any other little girl would have thrown in the towel long ago. I explained that she was living out how true love never gives up. Her response was incredible.
She said, "They almost never respond. But every once in a while, when they do, hearing them tell me that they love me makes it worth it all." Then she hopped out of the car and jumped onto her bus without a backward glance.
As I drove back down our hill, I realized that's how God loves us. Even when we don't respond, He reaches out for us anyways, surrounding us with His love and grace. His is a relentless love, one that will never, ever give up, no matter what. And when we do respond, and express our love back to Him, I'm sure He feels we're worth it all too.
For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! Psalm 117:2
As a bystander, there's nothing more that I want than for my boys to be more receptive to their sister's relentless love, knowing it will fill Jocelyn with the joy she deserves. As a participant in my own relationship with God, it underscores for me how important it is for me to be more receptive to God's love, knowing now, more than ever, how much joy it must bring Him.
Copyright 2021 Claire McGarry
Images: Canva Pro
About the Author
Claire McGarry is the author of the Lenten devotional "With Our Savior," published by Creative Communications for the Family/Bayard, Inc. and Grace in Tension: Discover Peace with Martha and Mary, to be published by Our Sunday Visitor in the fall of 2021. Her freelance work has appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family magazine, Catechist magazine, These Days devotional, and Keys for Kids devotional. The founder of MOSAIC of Faith, a ministry with several different programs for mothers and children, she blogs at Shifting My Perspective.