For the first four and a half weeks of her life, Julianna woke up slowly, her eyes slitting one at a time, and only after a long warmup did they open all the way. At times, I felt a little shiver when I saw those eyes on me. Such a frank gaze, so uncomplicated—and so piercing, despite its gentleness. More than once I thought they were God’s eyes staring straight through me, down to the core of my being.
It is a totally different sense than what I experienced with Alex when he was her age. For Alex and I, looking in each others’ eyes was the long gaze of lovers memorizing the contours of each other’s faces. With Julianna, it is humbling. Unsettling. I squirm as her gaze lays bare my selfishness, my pettiness, my unwillingness to suffer. I recognize my own failings when I look in the eyes of this child who has endured more in her first months of life than I endured in my entire childhood.
During her week-long stay in the ICU, she was drugged, and we barely saw her eyes at all. But since she came out from under sedation, my daughter is like a different child. A few minutes ago, Julianna woke up and started crying. I went to the blue-barred hospital crib and started patting her little bottom to try to lull her back to sleep. Instead…POP! Those little eyes snapped wide open, and she stared fixedly at me out of deep charcoal-gray orbs. It was shocking to see how round those eyes are…how alert she is at six and a half weeks old, after sleeping for a whole week. And for one fleeting moment, it was like looking in a mirror. I saw myself staring back at me from those eyes, those eyebrows.
And still, they were God’s eyes.
God’s eyes, staring out of my eyes.
After all the curses I have flung at Him in the last few days, still He gives me this beautiful gift.
Clearly, I still have a lot to learn about God.