I sent my daughter upstairs to clean “her” bathroom and when I came to inspect, I found the mirror coated in a thick layer of grime that hadn’t been there before.
Now, I hadn’t expected perfection by any means. In fact, I found the situation to be quite amusing. As I looked around trying to determine what she had “cleaned” the mirror with, I came to the conclusion that she had either used the sponge covered in dried toothpaste or shampoo from the shampoo bottle that seemed strangely out of place near the sink.
“Did you clean the mirror?” I asked with sincerity. She responded with an enthusiastic “YES!” and proudly showed off a job, that in her view, had been well done.
“Didn’t I do a good job, mom?” she asked. I said “yes” because the rest of the bathroom did look pretty good. “I cleaned the mirror even though you didn’t tell me to!” she exclaimed proudly, pointing out that she had gone above and beyond what I had asked her to do. I simply nodded because I knew she had genuinely tried. And yet, my eyes were still focused on that thick coating of who-knows-what that prevented me from seeing my reflection clearly. Or any trace of cleanliness on that mirror.
Oh, to have the eyes, the vision of a child. Eyes that focus on the good, even when the bad is painfully obvious. Vision that focuses on only the best attributes, while overlooking the not so appealing ones. Eyes that look beyond the mess and see beauty.
A child’s eyes seem to see accomplishment simply in the effort, even when that effort is deemed unsuccessful. Their eyes capture the essence of inner beauty while miraculously failing to notice the flaws that both threaten and diminish outer beauty. Their eyes reflect contentment in the midst of imperfection.
My eyesight is so often lacking. I fail to notice the beauty in each day because I am too focused on the burdens that are inevitably there.
But what if I adjusted my own vision to be more like that of a child? To have eyes that are drawn to what is good instead of focusing on the ever-present bad? Eyes that search for the positive instead of gravitating towards the negative?
What if I were able to see the wonder of motherhood, every single day, instead of just the work?
What if I overlooked the filth and instead focused on the fun that so often results from it?
What if I saw my children through the lens of compassion instead of focusing so much on control?
What if I could consistently see the need for nurturing instead of nagging?
What if my eyes only saw love when my children demanded all of my attention, instead of the list of things that won’t get done?
What if my eyes could see the gifts that are part of God’s plan, instead of the glitches that interrupt my own plans?
What if I took off the blinders and put on the rose-colored glasses that my children seem to wear? I imagine life would look a whole lot different. A whole lot more beautiful. Just the way God intended.
My children show me goodness each day, but because of my tainted vision, I don’t always return the favor. They naturally look past my failures, my messes, and my inappropriate behavior. In fact, so does God.
Maybe it’s time I adjust my vision so that I can do the same for them.