reflecting love

by Kayla Raymond

As in water face reflects face, 

So one’s life reflects the hear. Proverbs 27:19

My daughter sits on the ledge of our shower and watches me in the mornings, as I get ready for the day. When I brush my teeth at night and wash the dirt off my face, she’s there again. We chat and she giggles. She rushes me some mornings, but some days she’s patient with me. I enjoy having her at my side. We are always laughing with each other.

  

 

For a two and a half year old, the girl has got jokes. 

But, she’s growing up. She’s watching what mama does. When I put deodorant on, she raises her arms in the air right alongside me and isn’t happy until her tiny armpits are smeared white. She puts her lips out to have Chap Stick on as I apply some to my own lips. And she obviously needs a spritz of perfume whenever she sees the bottle. 

She’s watching me and I know she loves me, but now I begin to worry, will I be enough for her? Will I own up to her expectations she has for a mom? Will I be confidant enough to show her how to have strength and courage as she grows. She’s going to look to me for that in a different way than my boys, because, well…they’re boys. 

She’s my baby girl and I just want to do it right for her. I want her to feel beautiful. I want her to know and believe how perfectly made she is. 

I want to reflect these truths to her as she watches me look at myself in the mirror. 

Will she believe in these truths because she sees her own mama believes in them for herself as well?

 

  

And as I think about this: my baby girl growing up and how I will be the person to help her grow into all she wants to be, I think of how much bigger this is than just me and my daughter.

As Christians, how important it is for nonbelievers and believers to see how we perceive ourselves and live in this world. How actions speak so much louder than words.

I think of some really close friends in the United States who aren’t believers and how hard it is for me to witness to them, hoping deep down in the deepest parts of my soul that my actions are true to my words, my beliefs. 

I think of the popular saying, “You may be the only Jesus some people see.” Am I reppin’ Jesus good enough? 

I think of my close friend who confessed over dinner how hard it is to believe in God when all the “Christians” at her workplace are the most judgmental people there. What does that say? How ugly religion can be.

I think of the Haitians who believe “white” people are in Haiti just to make money or to elevate themselves. Do the Haitians think this of me? Am I being transparent enough? Can they see my heart? Do they see Jesus?

I’m humbled by the words written by Paul in the book of Romans that I read this morning at my kitchen table:

One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

10You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

– Romans 15:5-10 –

 

I think of how human and messy I am. It’s not my place to judge, tell or condemn. The greatest commandment I have been given is to love and am I loving deep and good enough? Loving not out of convenience or ease, but instead loving when it’s hard and against the status quo?

What it dwindles down to is Jesus. The sacrifice He made for all. The Jews and Gentiles. The rich and poor. The educated and illiterate. The weary, the broken, the sinful. All of us undeserving, yet, He chose to die for all.

Do we allow that kind of mercy to overflow? Do we allow grace to humble and love to shatter the darkness?  

My prayers are that as my children grow they will see a mama and a papa who lived out lives doing just that. A mama and papa who spent their lives being love. Children who grew up knowing their identity in Christ and never went a day without knowing about the place that is being held for them in heaven. 

My prayer for my little Wishla is that when the day comes for her to look in the mirror and get ready for the big, big world she will know what confidance and real beauty look like. She will know what authenticity and real love act like. She will know because she grew up watchin’ her mama.

That’s my prayer, which is way easier prayed than lived out some days, but it’s my prayer. 

  

 

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