There are moments when I catch a glimpse of Madeleine and it takes my breath away. A moment where she reaches for me, or where she accepts food I’m giving her, or where she looks at me and I can see the absolute trust and vulnerability in her.
It takes my breath away because there is an innocence there that is almost painful.
She absolutely trusts us to take care of her. She loves us in her own way, absolutely and with complete vulnerability.
There are still shades of that in Sammy and even in Nate and Zachary. They, however, have known that we make mistakes. That we yell sometimes, or sometimes we just don’t understand them.
Their innocence and their trust has clouded, just a bit. Madeleine’s will as well. Her trust will be clouded by the truth that we all mess up.
My trust, and my ability to love and be loved is clouded. I live an amazingly rich life with people all around me who care for me and who accept me and build me up…and yet, I know that I never completely open myself up to anyone. There is always a slight barrier.
I think that is just human. And yet, we do it with God as well. I know that I am never completely vulnerable and transparent before Him.
Sometimes this troubles me deeply…and yet I know that He continues to change me, to mature me and to teach me vulnerability. The thought struck me so deeply last night as I was rocking Madeleine, the painful beauty of what heaven will be. Maybe it is because we’ve been reading Heaven is for Real…but I was struck by the fact that we will be able to love and be loved in complete openness in Heaven.
That is astounding.
The cloudiness of our trust and our vulnerability now will vanish.
We will know what it is to be loved wholly, completely…and to love.
I called it a painful beauty, because it is like seeing the vulnerability and innocence in Madeleine…it is a truth that is so clear and beautiful that it sparks almost pain. We know the truth, and we see the beauty…but the fulfillment is just out of our reach. Still, we have these glimpses….and they give us great hope and anticipation of what will be.