My son recognizes me. He is only three months old but he recognizes me, and has for some time. I know this because of his smile. He smiles at a few things:

When his sister does her squeaking baby talk;

Sometimes when his mobile moves above him;

When people make big faces in front of him;

And when I come home.

I don’t need to squeal, or throw him around, or make silly faces. He sees me, makes eye contact, and smiles. A big toothless, full-faced, bright-eyed smile.

Such a small, simple reaction and it completely draws me in. Every care and worry from the day has instantly been forgotten. Every other sound in the room is muffled. He’s not doing it to please me, not because he was told to, or by habit. He sees me, recognizes me, and he’s happy.

Every so often I have “dad revelation” and understand God a little more through my experiences as a father. So many things make sense now. Things that without having become a father myself I may have never fully grasped. This is one that hit home harder because it wasn’t just understanding why God does what He does, but it’s about me as a child.

When’s the last time I smiled at God? When have I recognized Him at some point during the day, and looked up with a big toothy, full-faced, bright-eyed smile? The concept is almost foreign to me. I look to Him in moments of desperation or extreme sadness. I recall more than a few situations where I’ve left the office upon hearing some distressing news and walked to a hidden spot in the parking garage and looked straight up to the sky, but I wasn’t smiling. On Sundays we sing about Him and to Him, but still at a distance. We pray almost as if we’re writing a letter in a bottle and send it sailing, hoping to hear a response someday. If we’re honest, we’re probably going to church more for the social aspect (which is still a good thing) and a nice worship boost to start the week. But do we have other moments where we just smile at Him? How would it make Him feel? What would it do for us?

I’m going to be more purposeful in recognizing when God works in my life, take time to appreciate Him and then show it. I can’t repay, and He wouldn’t expect me to. But I know how I feel when my baby boy wakes up in the morning, rubs his eyes, and focuses on me. So maybe I’ll just take a moment, for no better reason than the fact that God simply is who He is, look up…

and smile.

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