|Pops and Dakota|
“O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike."
We spend a lot of time with our four-year-old granddaughter, Dakota and last Thursday she joined us for the Maundy Thursday service at church. (That was our deal...if she wanted to sleep over at Grams' & Pops' house that night, she had to go to church with us).
She agreed, wholeheartedly, but I wondered if she'd really last through the entire service or glean anything from the service between playing with her Littlest Pet Shop toys and the noticeably painful sty on her eyelid.
The band started playing and she hopped into my arms, ready to worship. Half-way through the first song she points to the inlaid cross above the baptistery and says, "Jesus died on that cross, you know, Grams."
"Yes, he did. That's why we're here tonight--to remember that and to say 'thank-you' to Jesus for dying on that cross."
The next morning the swelling and redness from her sty had dissipated. I mentioned how much better her eye looked and she immediately responded, "Yes, it is better. Last night in church I heard someone whisper, 'Look at your sty. I've made it better.'"
I asked, "Who do you think whispered in your ear?" and as any preschool girl with an overactive imagination may respond, she answered, "I don't know. I think it was Hello Kitty." Hmmm. Now what? Obviously, she wasn't making this up. Her eye was markably better, so I seized this teachable moment and continued the conversation.
"No, Dakota. Hello Kitty isn't real or alive. She's just a cartoon character, but remember you mentioned Jesus died on the cross? Well, he is real and he didn't stay dead. On Easter, God raised him from the dead, made him alive again. He's alive, with God, in heaven and he talks with us, just like he whispered in your ear last night. That voice? That whisper in your ear? That was Jesus. Jesus made your eye better."
Throughout the day, I watched her eye for any reoccurring redness or swelling and periodically asked her if it still hurt but her eye kept improving. When her parents arrived late in the afternoon, the first thing her mother said was, "Wow! Your eye is all better."
She looked up from her artwork and answered, "Yes, Jesus made it better."
Although she didn't recognize Jesus' voice at first, does not negate the fact that she heard him whisper, "I've made it better." Just like us, childlike in our walk with the Lord, we train our ears to hear his voice through simple faith.