It broke my heart to see it. I’m sure it broke the mother’s heart, too.
As I watched the incident unfold, I prayed, “God, please don’t let that ever be me and my kids.” Although, I know one day, it very well could be.
A mother had driven her daughter to school and put her out at the front door. I was walking in from the parking lot and neither one of them had seen me. So that couldn’t have been the reason for the daughter’s reaction.
As the girl reached the door, the mother called out and told her daughter she loved her. Upon hearing her mom’s words, the daughter stopped, threw her head back and looked up at the sky. She heaved a deep sigh and rolled her eyes.
Everything about this reaction indicated the daughter was either embarrassed or just didn’t care about what her mother said. Then the girl opened the door and disappeared inside.
I looked back to the mother, who still didn’t know that I was there. I saw the pain in her eyes. With a sorrowful expression, she dropped the car in gear and drove away.
Now, I have no idea what happened in the car before they reached the school. Maybe the mother and daughter usually have a great relationship. Maybe they had an argument just before they reached the school, and that was the reason for the daughter’s reaction. But what I saw that morning was a parent making a declaration of love, and a child rejecting it.
Throughout Israel’s history, God made countless declarations of his love, which were rejected by the ones to whom he was expressing that love. Instead of responding to God’s love and serving him, they served the Baals (Judges 2:11-12). Instead of accepting God’s love, they rejected him (1 Samuel 8:7).
Are we any different? Have we, at times, rejected God’s declarations of love? Have we, at times, responded in disgust or ambivalence, rather than accepting and returning the love he so graciously bestows upon us?
I keep thinking about the mother’s pained expression. I pray my children will never make me feel the pain and sorrow she obviously felt. More than that, I pray I never make my heavenly father experience the pain and sorrow because of my rejection of him and his love.
God loves us so much. Why wouldn’t we love him in return?
The Rev. Parrish Myers is a local minister living in Braselton. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.