One time when my daughter was three, my family and I were in a park when my daughter suddenly said, “I need to go potty, I need to go potty, I need to go potty.”
After a brief negotiation between my wife and me over who would take responsibility for hunting down a bathroom, I took my daughter by the hand and walked a couple of blocks until I found a potty. It was almost too late.
When we finally found a closet-sized bathroom in a restaurant, I did my best to help my daughter get on the toilet, but I was having trouble because I was carrying a paper bag with her and her sister’s sippy cups inside. I put the bag on top of the toilet as my daughter sat down, at which point the bag tipped over and the sippy cups fell down into the toilet water.
I had the presence of mind to fish both cups out of the water, turn on the hot water in the sink of the tiny bathroom and begin washing the cups with as much hand soap as I could reasonably apply. In the meantime, my daughter needed lavatory assistance that you don’t want me to describe here.
In the midst of all of the potty hubbub, this thought came to mind: “This is what love looks like.” And it is. That kind of love is a faint shadow of Father God’s love for us — a love that doesn’t mind being inconvenienced because that’s His job.
His love will get into the dirtiest of our messes because He knows we don’t have the ability to clean ourselves up. It’s a love that makes it through rough moments and calls them a good memory.
One of the reasons the episode ended up being such a good memory for me was because, as my daughter and I walked hand-in-hand back onto the street, she spontaneously said something that I never get tired of hearing: “I love you, Daddy.” Those words, said so lovingly to me, made it all worth it.
I can’t help but imagine that when we go through rough times that require a lot of grace from God, those are the kind of words that make it worth it to Him as well.