Isn’t She Lovely?

“Isn’t she lovely?” Stevie Wonder sang, stunned by the birth of his first daughter, adoring her when he first saw her. “Isn’t she pretty? Isn’t she lovely made from love?” Looking at his baby made him proud and humble and happy. And he started to praise God: “I can’t believe what God has done. Through us He’s given life to one.” So it is true for every father and mother what the Psalm says:

“I will sing of your majesty above the heavens with the mouths of babes and infants.” (Psalm 8,2-3)

How fascinating that Wonder was inspired by his daughter to write this song. Isn’t that an incredible phenomenon that a parent can be inspired by his child? Honestly, I have never seen a parent who was not inspired by his child. And even if he would not love his own – something you can hardly imagine – he would still be inspired.

If it is true that God, the Father in heaven, is an even greater and more loving father, I dare to think that He also is inspired by the birth of each of his children. I dare to imagine that He, whose love is abundant, starts singing, full of happiness and love whenever a human is born: “Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t he lovely? Isn’t she wonderful? Isn’t he precious?” And he continues to sing.

That God not only created me, but that I also inspire him is breathtaking. It is his love that makes this possible. His love comes to completion when he sees us. I am lovely because I am made from love. The history of men and God has proven it. God did not just create us and throw us into this world. When He saw us “the first time”, he fell even more in love with us–so precious were we, so wonderful. Because of this he can never let go of us.

Lord, it touches me deeply to think you sing a love song for me like Stevie Wonder did for his daughter. I am precious to you. Nothing and nobody can cancel that out. Let me live in this love. Let me hear your song for me. The song of love you are singing for me.

He rejoices in me—really?

It was a usual Wednesday morning. I was half awake, half asleep while I was saying prayers. All of a sudden, one verse strikes me:

“As a bridegroom rejoices in his bride
so shall your God rejoice in you.” Isaiah 62:5

I think how beautiful that is! I have witnessed bridegrooms rejoicing in their brides and brides rejoicing in their grooms. Such freshness of love! How beautiful it is when somebody rejoices in me, when it gives another joy to see me.

Then I am looking at myself, thinking: it was 33 years ago that I entered the monastery with butterflies in my stomach. But now? Not so much. At least while I am praying, I succeed in lifting up this longing to God, although I feel myself far away from this state. I share with God that I would like to be loved this way again, as the prophet Isaiah says: God rejoices in me. I want to feel it, to experience it, while knowing that all spiritual and mystic traditions say that experiencing and feeling it is not as important as believing in it. I end my prayers by starting my daily work and schedule with a new kind of curiosity: Would I see God today, in fact, rejoicing in me, in my being?

I was surprised how my day changed with this simple prayerful question! I felt peace, I felt joy. I saw good things happening around me. I did not pay too much attention to the bad things. It is a truth: God is happy with me and he rejoices in my being—and that changes everything. Often we don’t like ourselves—and for good reasons. Still, God loves each of us, and is happy to see us, to have us around him, to talk with us.

Lord, don’t let me forget how much you love me. “You did not choose me, but I chose you”, I hear you saying (John 15:16). I don’t know how I merit this kind of love—but it just fills my heart with great joy, serenity, and gratitude.

Schuyler Juli 11 047