The other day I was reading my cousin's blog where she wrote about her broken heart having just miscarried. As I scrolled through a couple of her previous posts before the miscarriage, my heart broke for the beaming, smiling girl in her previous posts who had no idea the personal tragedy that was just around the corner for her. If only we knew what lay ahead and behind for those around us, doubtless we would be more kind, compassionate, and patient with those we know.
There have been times when after writing a journal entry, I've thumbed through the blank pages ahead, wondering what stories will fill these pages someday. Sometimes I go backwards in my journal, reading previous entries, reminiscing on the naivety of the girl who wrote the pages before.
I think this ability to see ahead and into the past is what makes God's love for us so different than what we are capable of. When He sees us, He doesn't just see us in a snapshot of time. He sees who we were, who we are, and what we will become.
I also think this is part of what makes a mother's love for her children so special. When I see Camden, I don't just see the 7 year old with arms and legs sprouting faster than his body can keep up with. I see him as a baby, who for months screamed and cried in pain as he received treatments for his clubbed foot. I see the toddler who for 3 years was my little buddy each day as his dad went to work. I see the little boy who so quickly became the man of the house when Dennis was in Africa. I see the boy who loves to comfort and rock his little sisters and who stays up late reading to his little brother with a flashlight. The ability to see people as part of a continuum is one of the keys to unlocking the mystery of unconditional love, and parents we are privy to a small part of that key.