“Mom, do you know why your eyes are the most beautiful to me?” he asks with a warm smile. “Why is that honey?” thinking I should humor this child’s charming bent. His voice softens with quivering emotion, “Because they were the first eyes I ever saw.” His explanation makes me start and then wonder. I think back to the early hours, days, and weeks of his life. Funny he should mention the beauty of my eyes when, in fact, I had burst the blood vessels in my right eye during the complicated birthing experience. It was a whole lot more National Geographic than Pinteresting.
In this culture we fixate on outward forms of beauty and grasp constant and wild for self-fulfilling achievement to the point of pinned oblivion. But maybe the child sees clearly?
Our little golden afternoon mom-son exchange causes me to think of the intensely profound and mysterious subject of the self-giving, self-emptying call of motherhood that points to the exquisite trinitarian love of God (not limited to the initial birth experience).
I marvel at just how sure this boy is of his first encounter with the eye of beauty and its inherent connection. His birth in particular was by far my hardest physical undertaking, wearing on my mental faculties, and at a certain point pushing me to a threshold that caused me to question whether I was dying. Were those red, bloodshot eyes followed by bleary-eyed nights of caring for his little infant life really a thing of beauty?
The treasure of motherhood is that it is rooted in an invitation to be conduits of divine love. I gave all I had to birth this boy, and in my self-giving, self-emptying state, God’s grace allowed not only the birth of his tiny body, but also a birth of love – a bond so sure it revealed a beauty from a source far beyond me. Even in my human exhaustion and blinding limitation, God unknowingly revealed inconceivable love (his love) through my eyes. I believe my son saw love, saw the pure beauty of God in those earliest days of life. This is a humbling realization, and one that fills me with great eternal hope – hope that, as both mother and son called into familial relationship, we are the children being drawn by the ever-loving eyes of God. We are being drawn to himself for the kingdom.
“Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it” (Mark 10:15).