What I’ve Learned About Unconditional Love From John-Michael
When I look into the faces of people, in that place behind their eyes, what many refer to as looking into the soul. It’s that place where the truest form of a person resides, and in so many of them, I can see a hidden longing to be loved; and not the superficial kind of love that only loves what’s appreciated but not what is flawed about them. No, my sense is that they long for an authentic love that overlooks the deepest flaws to see what’s perfect about them.
As you may have read in my previous posts, our newest Card member, John-Michael, was diagnosed with Down syndrome. And what has become very evident is how quickly people identify that ‘flaw’. I don’t mean this is a negative sense because they demonstrate true compassion for his “condition” and they want to be comforting to us and to him. But what makes John-Michael isn’t what we can see on the surface of his life; no it’s his perfections we can’t see that do.
Yesterday, we went to the Pediatric Cardiologist to have John-Michael’s heart checked because so many children born with Down’s syndrome have other complications and sometimes they are heart related. To spare you the suspense, they hooked him up to machines and took pictures from every angle but his heart was perfectly formed and we thank God for that, because we know that His hand touched John-Michael’s heart while he was still being created in his mom’s belly.
You see when I look at my son all I see is how much I love him. Because of that love, I can’t really see the physical manifestation of his ‘syndrome’; all I see is a beautiful baby boy.
It seems to me that if I can love my child, for that matter all of my children with a love that surpasses any condition and I am a flawed man; then how much more perfect is the love that God has for His children.
I woke this morning with such clarity about what it means to love without conditions. Then I wondered: what would happen to our world if we would apply that same unconditional love we feel when we first look into the eyes of our children to all of our relationships?
How much better would our marriages be if we demonstrated this type of love just 20% more than we do now? Or, how would it change a relationship with our teens, if we overlooked just a small portion of their rebellion and just showed them how much we still love them?
In some attempt to demean its power, some say that love is blind but true love is supposed to be blind; blind to the flaws of the people we love. Because God didn’t create love simply to change of fix people but to accept them as they are, right now.
And just as I can overlook my son’s down syndrome, God has overlooked all of my shortcomings and still loves me. If God can love someone like me, a man who doesn’t deserve even a portion of the love He has for me, because of the deeds of my life; I know He love you too.