At church this morning, I watched a little girl, no more than three years old, walking down the aisle. She held her mother's hand, or more accurately, her mother clutched hers, and the curly haired little angel twisted and turned and danced her way down the aisle. She pretended to tap the pews with her free hand, all the while smiling adorably at each person she passed.
I'm sure her mother has seen that precious smile. I'm sure she revels in it. But at that exact moment, her mother was looking ahead, not down. I saw her and her child for exactly who they were at that moment. I had a view that even she, as the mother, could not, only because I was the viewer. I could see the beauty, the innocense, the love, the motherly/protective presence.
It underscored a fact that occurs to me from time to time... that sometimes the view others have of us, of our children, of our work, is more beautiful and accurate than the view we have of ourselves. It's not due to any fault in us; it's just a matter of perspective. They can see us and what we do from an angle we never can. We have to take others' perceptions with a grain of salt, especially when they apply their own filters to what they see, but in their perceptions, we can also see beauty and strength and our best selves.
As I left church, I paused to hold the door for the people behind me. Turns out, it was the mother and the little girl and her father. I told them that just seeing her at communion made my whole day. "I love the way she danced down the aisle."
"Danced? I thought she was just tugging at my hand," laughed the mom. "Dancing sounds much better!"