My sweet daughter, in her wonderfully innocent way, never fails to teach me profound life lessons. Recently we were at daily Mass and an older lady came in late. The lady, to be honest, gave me the creeps. I can’t even put my finger on it, but something just didn’t sit quite right.
Regardless of how I felt about her, as my daughter played on the floor, she looked up, saw the lady, smiled her huge smile and waved at her. The lady beamed and walked closer. And closer. My daughter waved even more feverishly. The lady was so overjoyed at how happy and playful my daughter was that she sat next to us.
There wasn’t anything wrong with this lady other than my gut feeling, and yet as she sat next to us, I realized that my daughter – innocent though she may be – had exactly the right approach. My daughter knows no real judgement, she simply smiles and waves at nearly everyone. She doesn’t hold back love or smiles, she spreads joy, just like Jesus does.
My daughter loves without reserve. She’s quick to forgive, and is one of the happiest, most joyful babies I’ve ever known. She isn’t selfish with that joy or happiness either, she longs to give that joy to others. When she can get someone else to smile or laugh, her joy multiplies. In fact, in Mass, she’ll often wave at someone until they smile or wave back, even if I try to distract her. Her mission is joy. Her mission is love.
As the lady sat next to us – the one I’d made a snap judgment about – I was grateful for the example of my daughter, for the love she shows to others, and the way she already inspires me.