Our little niece Madison is almost six. She is one of the prettiest little girls that I have ever seen. She loves to flip her white-blond past shoulder length hair from side to side. Her singing voice is beautiful and she loves to make up little songs. I got to sit and listen to her singing from the other room several times during our Christmas visit to my brother-in-laws house this year. Maddie is an assertive and outgoing little girl, whose intelligence is matched by her rich personal character.
My wife loves to play with Maddie-cakes. They dress up dolls, do craft projects, color drawings and play games together. I watched them several times from across the room and thought how fun it was to see these two wonderful princesses enjoying each other’s company. On more than one occasion Madison would ask me where Dayna was because she wanted to play with her. I would tell her and she would bound away in glee yelling “Dayna come play with me”.
I found that Maddie and I have little in common. She never asked to play with me. I really only observed one thing that makes Maddie and I alike. This is our love for mornings. I like to get up early and read the paper, or walk outside. Since it was cold I was at the table reading the paper with coffee at hand when Madison strolled up to me.
Her eyes so big and blue asked me a simple quiet question. “Where is Dayna?” I looked at her over my glasses and nodded toward the basement door. “She is still in bed Maddie, why don’t you go down and crawl in bed with aunt Dayna” I suggested.
Dayna hates mornings, but I knew that she would love to wake up to Madison’s singing and cute little face. I thought of the joy this would bring to my wife’s heart and it made me smile. Looking up I could see that Maddie was standing by the basement door holding her little blanket. She was nervously peering down the dark stairs.
So I got up and went over to her, she looked up at me with those big blue eyes. “Is Dayna sleeping?” she asked. I took her little hand in mine and said “Maddie would you like for me to take you to your aunt Dayna?” I asked. Her head shook and she smiled quietly at me.
Down the dark stairs we went and then across the room. I could feel her little hand squeeze mine as I said “Dayna, there is someone here to see you.” My wife rolled over in bed and stuck out her arms sleepily smiling, “Hi Maddie” was all she said.
Madison let go of my hand and ran to the bed. As she crawled into Dayna’s arms I turned around and went back up the stairs alone. As I sat at the table I could hear the girls talking and laughing together downstairs.
I knew that although my wife would not respond so warmly to some morning intrusions that Maddie holds a special place in her heart. Maddie likewise needed my help to go to a place that she was unfamiliar with and to get past the initial fear of the greeting.
As I reflect on this experience I remember the work of a man named Epaphras who is mentioned in Col. 4:12
“Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured”.
Encouraging others to go to God is imperative. To let people know that God cares for them and desires to hold them close needs to be the work of every Christian. It is not enough that we love them, we must take them to God. They may be scared God won’t love them, but we know that He will. They may not know how to approach God in prayer so we need to take them to see Him.
The goal of seeing others standing firmly in God’s will and recognizing the reassurance of His love for them no matter their needs or position in life should bring us joy.
We can love others, but we will never love someone more than God loves them. He is greater than any other friend, and because of Jesus we can be taken close to the Father.
As I close out this reflection, can I ask you, who are you praying for this week? Who have you taken to see the Father? Perhaps you need to be reminded of the love God has for you.
Please know that He sent His only Son to take you by the hand and lead you down the stairs so that you do not need to stand far off in fear any longer. Draw close to the Father today, He wants to hold you close, you are the passion of His heart.