General Catholic Insights on Life, Eternity, and Everything In Between
Watching over us? All the time? What a chilling thought. When we were kids, the last thing we wanted was a parent on our backs. And we would have just died knowing that our parents had seen us ___________. Fill in the blank with whatever makes you blush. I myself could fit an awful lot into that little space.
There was the time I had convinced my little brother that Mom had been underfed at the hospital and was now only two feet tall. Or the time I put Mom’s bra on the neighbor’s snowman. And then there’s the stuff I wouldn’t dare put on paper.
But that’s when I was young…and innocent. The more I think about the idea of someone watching now, the more I feel like hiding beneath a rock. A parent who’s always watching can seem like a curse more than anything else. Then I think about my own children.
I find this contrast between how I see my own kids (and their little escapades) and how I thought my parents looked at me. There’s so much that I punish them for, and then spend the rest of the night giggling about. All the mischief that stems from a mixture of boredom, ignorance, and tomfoolery.
But again, those are the more or less innocent things. I see much more than they realize, and I’m sure my parents did too. And I guess my parents saw it the same way I see it. While I might feel disappointment sometimes, I never feel that deep shame that I was sure my own parent felt. It’s more along the lines of pity.
I want my kids to be good, because I know it’s good for them. When I see them take a wrong turn, I worry for their wellbeing. And when they take the same wrong turn over and over again, my only thought is to help guide them…to give them directions down the right path.
Sometimes they ignore my counsel (and my punishment). They decide that their way is better, and they end up paying for it. But even then, I look with sympathy and try to help them fix the problem. I’m never glad when they cause their own ruin, and I certainly don’t look forward to it. So why would God be any different?
As we deal with guilt in life, it’s intimidating to know that God sees all…but there’s comfort in the fact that He’s our Father.