You would think that after almost two seasons of This Is Us (and writing about it a lot), I would be able to keep my emotions in check for an hour every Tuesday, remembering that these are fictional characters. But alas, I find myself, week after week, staring at my television with bated breath and tears rolling down my cheeks. And this week was certainly no exception.

Minor spoilers ahead but nothing major!

So many posts could be written about this week’s episode—forgiveness, hope in broken relationships, second chances—but one plotline in particular stuck out in which we see the unconditional love of a father, Jack, for his daughter, Kate. Cue the tears.

In this episode, we find out that Kate, the only daughter of the Pearson triplets, has made it to the final round of applicants for the music school she applied to for undergrad. She needs to send in one last audition tape, and Jack offers to videotape her, saying that if the school heard her voice and saw her beautiful face she would be a shoo-in. But Kate insists on an audio recording—not the first time we’ve seen Kate’s insecurities about her appearance.

Nevertheless, Jack tries to videotape Kate secretly which does not go over well. Kate angrily tells Jack to stop trying to make her see herself the way he does, that she doesn’t see herself as beautiful and neither does anyone else, so his efforts do nothing more than throw salt on the wound.

The Gospel tells us that our heavenly Father sees us through the lens of Jesus and His work on the cross, like Jack seeing Kate through the lens of a father’s unconditional love. In God’s sight, we are dazzling white, “holy and blameless,” because Jesus took on our sin and bestowed his righteousness upon us in return. But still, we are all too aware of how messy and broken and unlovable we are, and we want to feel as though we deserve the love we have received. As with Kate, being told that we are beautiful in God’s sight doesn’t necessarily alleviate our feelings about ourselves but can sometimes make it worse.

Eventually, Kate comes around to watching the video, and on the recording, she sees Jack’s reflection in her bedroom mirror. She is able to watch him watching her and understand for a moment the immense love her father has for her, which allows him to see her as beautiful even when she can’t.

In those brief, fleeting moments where we truly recognize how God sees us, when we know that he looks at us with the expression of love that Jack has for Kate, what relief for our aching, exhausted hearts. Kate goes on to ask Jack to never stop trying to make her see herself the way he does. And therein lies our hope: our God will “love his children—with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love,” never ceasing in his relentless pursuit of us (The Jesus Storybook Bible). Until that day, when we see Him face-to-face and finally understand, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are his children who are beautiful in his sight. No more fleeting moments of earthly understanding, but an unwavering perfect knowledge of who we are and Whose we are.