The other night after bath time, Hadley (my one-year-old), ran around the living room naked for a bit. If you’re not a parent, naked-kids is totally normal.
At one point she stopped, sat down next to her blanket, and laid her little head down on it.
Kristin and I must have made a comment about it being cute, because Graham (my three-year-old) started imitating her. And then it became a game for everyone.
(Except the naked part.)
But something about this little episode stuck with me. Why does the older one imitate the younger one?
I think it’s because he wants our attention. He wasn’t throwing a fit. He was just copying his sister.
It strikes me how much these little ones need us.
They don’t just need us to give them food or a place to live, but they need us on a much deeper level. They need to know they are valuable to us. And they need to feel that.
As a grown-up, I’ve been learning a lesson that’s a lot like this.
We—each of us—need God in this same way. The vague notion that he’s out there somewhere isn’t good enough. We need to know him.
When I think about hard times, I sometimes wonder why God allows them. If he can stop the pain, if he knows the heart-ache’s coming, why let it happen?
I think part of it is because, just like my kids need my and Kristin’s attention and acceptance, we, too, need God’s. But because of certain things in our lives, we tend to forget this. Hard times help us see that again.
On an irritatingly uplifting note, here’s a poem I came across some time back. Fits, I think.
When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man
And skill a man
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses
Whom He chooses,
And which every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try His splendor out-
God knows what He’s about.