(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Kisses From Heaven
By Patrick Herman
The nurse placed the tightly wrapped baby in my arms. The realization hit me that I had just become a father. Looking at that tiny face, I naturally kissed his forehead. Before a word was spoken or even before the tears of joy that formed in my eyes could fall, I kissed his tiny face. He was mine, my first-born, and it only seemed fitting that this gesture of love, namely a kiss, would be the first thing to welcome him into the family. A kiss of the father to his child.
In a very similar way, our celestial Father kisses our foreheads when we don’t even understand “love.” He whispers to our hearts that all is well, and He shows us by His actions that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
It’s incredible to think that we love our children long before they know what love is. How can a baby know the meaning of a kiss? Or the words “I love you?” In fact, a child will only begin to speak typically after a year, and concepts like “love” will take much longer.
A parent’s love for a child is so strong that it perseveres through great adversities. Someone made this comment as I was holding my newborn child. The man said, “Yesterday you didn’t have a son, and today you would take a bullet for him if he was in danger. Isn’t that amazing?” It was true, I thought. I would take a bullet for this child. What had happened? This child had no idea how loved he was! (See John 15:12, John 3:16)
I find it amazing that the Bible compares the love of the Father to my life experience. It says that we wouldn’t know love had we not been first loved by God. ( I John 4:19). Like that newborn, we are loved and cannot fully understand. Born again into God’s family and kissed from heaven, as it were, to welcome us into His family. ( John 3:1-17)
A child is born into a family and learns that he is loved over time. Love comes in many forms; in kisses and hugs, in words and actions, in time and money spent, through struggles and pain, in heartache and joy. Love strengthens and grows as love is received. Looking back over my life, I understood my parents’ love for me, but more importantly, I knew God’s love for me even as a small child. There were times I would speak with Him often and knew that I loved Him too. Other times, I would actually hide from His love (sin will do that to us) and I’m embarrassed to say that I would shun Him and His love (especially in my teen years). There were times I wanted nothing to do with Him.
The same can be said of us as our children grow. When my newborn reached 8 years-of-age, there was a day that as he stomped away to his room in anger, he turned to me and said the words that no father wants to hear: “I hate you!” I did what fathers typically do in times like these—I waited. I gave him some time to cool down. I found him sitting on his bed some time later and we talked. I started with these words, “I don’t hate you.” He immediately wrapped his arms around me and hugged tightly.
Love covers a multitude of sins.
Romans 5 tells us, God commanded His own love toward us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
Loved by the Father? Definitely. We may not realize the depth, the length, the width of His love, but like a small and simple kiss, love begins to take root in our hearts. We begin to understand His love for us and then to do what seems the most natural, to love others.
Find out more about Patrick by visiting pilgrimradio.com/programs/his-people