Every night, I check on the boys before I head downstairs to bed. I always give them a kiss on the cheek and tell them I love them. They never wake up. I look down at their sleepy heads and love them deeper and more fully than I do during the day, when we're caught up in the minutiea of our daily lives...the lessons, and the discipline of parent and child. And they don't wipe that kiss off their cheeks; one of the most rewarding intimacies I share with them.
My friend Amy once told me that when imagining how much God loves them, we can imagine how much we love them and know that God loves them (and us) more than that. It's almost impossible to comprehend, but it does help give me a visualization of His love.
Last night in bed, I remembered that. And I had the sudden hope that at the end of the day, when I say my prayers of gratitude and ask for forgiveness for my many shortcomings, that God looks at me like I look at those little boys. And that I get a kiss on the cheek because He loves me too, in spite of it all. If He does, I won't wipe that kiss off either.