NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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October 19, 2013

Looking in a new direction

My 2-year-old, Lily brings my wife Meghan, and me great joy … and a fair amount of panic! Lily loves to climb and jump on things. Like any toddler, she doesn’t give much regard to safety.

At our home, the sofa is in front of a large window. Lily likes to jump on the sofa and it usually ends the same way: She gets a bit too rowdy, lands a bit off balance, and bumps her head on the window ledge. The thud is followed by the sound of her cry from both pain and fear.

I suspect my response it typical of any parent who loves their child. I pick her up. I check her for injuries. I ask her where her “boo boo” is. I kiss it all better. Seeing that it’s just a bump, I try to calm her. I speak soothingly. I reassure her that everything is okay. I hold her close to me, and I dry her tears. Then, finally, when she is calm enough to listen, I gently tell her that she shouldn’t jump on the sofa, because she could get hurt, and “Daddy doesn’t want you to get hurt, because Daddy loves you.”

This response is natural, because I love her. Since I love her, I want to help her in her time of need, but I also want to give her some wisdom to help her avoid having to go through that kind of pain or worse again.

Humanity would be much better off if we loved each other like parents love their children. It is the closest love on earth that even remotely resembles God’s love for us. So, really, what I’m saying is that humanity would be much better off if we loved each other like God does.

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