One of my three-year-olds was so intently looking at the map in Daddy's Bible that he sprawled headlong across the table. It tickled us. He looked up and saw us laughing and immediately misunderstood the laughter. With a hurt look on his face, he told us sternly, "It's not funny!"
Which, of course, made us laugh even harder. Not at him, you understand, but at his all-around cuteness. Which he misinterpreted and then became even more offended.
Daddy noticed. "Don't look at them," he said gently to him. "Look at me and I will smile at you. I love you." He smiled at my three year old with love.
Three times during the course of the meal he said the same thing.
Once someone looked at someone else with a funny look on their face. (Yes, surprisingly, my children do this. Even more surprisingly, my children are offended by this.) "Well, don't look at him," Tim said to the offended person. "Look at me and I will smile at you. Like this." He smiled.
I was moved by this display of fatherly love. I was moved almost to tears, primarily because I could see my heavenly Father's love in the actions of my husband.
Have you ever been offended by someone else? They gave you a funny look, or they said something hurtful, or they pointed out a fault of yours that you would prefer they overlooked. Perhaps it was done in love, but perhaps not. Perhaps it was done out of extreme spite or blatant maliciousness.
I have an idea for you.
When someone hurts you, don't look at them.
Look at your Father.
He is smiling at you with love.
Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.