Seeing potential without demanding perfection

My grandson, Talen Liam Walker, was born Friday, April 29 at 6:10 p.m. Mother, baby, and daddy are all home and doing well. I spent some time with them this evening, holding the little one while he slept on my shoulder, and became aware of one of the differences between being a parent and being a grandparent: Being aware of potential, without demanding perfection.

Holding any newborn is a potent reminder of the potential God has invested in humanity. As the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin said of his life in the lamp, “All that cosmic power … in an itty-bitty living space.”

We sense that “cosmic power” whenever we hold a baby, knowing that child could grow up to become anything, could affect thousands or millions for good or evil with his or her decisions. You could be holding in your arms the researcher who will discover the cure for cancer, or solve an economic crisis, or prevent a war through diplomacy.

When God looks at us – no matter our age or situation – through His eyes of faith He sees the incredible potential we have to love, to create, to destroy, to choose (perhaps the most powerful potential of all). And yet, though He is aware of our potential, and believes the best of us and for us, He loves us in spite of ourselves, all throughout our lives.

As a new grandma, I had a new understanding today of what it means to love unconditionally like that. We love our children, but their failures and faults sometimes feel more like a reflection on our own failings than the result of their own choices and decisions.

But my grandbaby? Well, he can do no wrong. (Yes, I’m already that far gone…)
It’s not that I’m not invested in his life, because I am, but the investment is different. It’s softer, more accepting, less fearful somehow. It’s less analysis and more synthesis.  

I’d like to think that’s how God feels toward us: seeing our potential, without demanding perfection in every endeavor, every action. If He demanded perfection, He wouldn’t have made room for repentance and forgiveness, now would He? That we would learn to be as generous with ourselves as God is generous with us. That we would learn to focus on our potential, not our imperfections.

Do you think you “see” yourself the way God sees you?

2 thoughts on “Seeing potential without demanding perfection

  1. Unknown says:

    Oh Niki, I can just imagine you holding your new little bundle. What a great grandma you are going to be!!

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