One day as I was rollerblading around a city lake, I met a small group coming toward me. There was an older couple behind and a young couple in front. The young father had an infant in a carrier on his back. They were talking happily. I smiled and nodded to them as I whizzed by.

As I came around the lake I saw the family again. The infant, in the carrier on the father’s back, was facing me. The young mother was tending to the infant with her back toward me.

I was struck by the look on the infant’s face — eyes big and round, gazing intently into the mother’s face. I was moved, for I’d never before seen such a vivid image of intimacy and trust. Passing close by, I turned to look at the mother’s face. Her gaze was totally focused on the baby’s face, radiant in attentive love and caring. They didn’t even seem to notice me moving so close by them. I was awestruck at the love and intimacy that they shared. I stopped just beyond them to savor what I had just witnessed.

Then I felt a wave of energy come down upon me. It entered through my head and the back of my neck, and flooded down into my depths, into a space deep down behind my heart. The feeling was like a voice, a deep all-encompassing voice, saying, “This is how I care for you.” Feeling overwhelmed, I just stood there crying, unaware of anything around me.

As I started for home, the voice again addressed me from within my depths, saying, “And this is how you are to care for others.”

When I sought for words to describe what I saw in that mother’s face as she looked at her infant, this is what came: “You are the flesh of my flesh, and the bone of my bone. You have come from the deepest part of me. You are the focus of my gaze, and the center of my life. Without you, I wouldn’t be me.”

According to the voice, God says these same words to each of us: “You are the flesh of my flesh, and the bone of my bone. You have come from the deepest part of me. You are the focus of my gaze, and the center of my life. Without you, I wouldn’t be me.” Imagine, without any one of us, God would be different!

And there’s also the part about caring for others. I can say to you, and you to me, for we all share in one humanity: “You are the flesh of my flesh, and the bone of my bone. You have come from the deepest part of me. You are the focus of my gaze, and the center of my life. Without you, I wouldn’t be me.”

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