Lately, she has been waking up much earlier than usual. 5:30am. 6 o’clock. Sometime, even as early as 4:45am.
She sits on the floor using her tiny feet to spin herself around in circles. The possibilities are endless as she survey’s the room with each rotation. The pile of toys in the corner. The bookshelf. The dog bowl. The dog’s bed. Staring at her reflection in the glass door. The entertainment cabinet.
As she crawls around the room from one option to the next her gurgles, babbles and hiccups accompany the song the birds are singing just outside.
As she looks up at me again with her big blue eyes, a smile slowly moves across her face from one side of her mouth to the next. Our eyes meet. We connect. But just for a fleeting moment. She drops her toy and inserts her thumb into her smile. Her smile fades as her lips close in around her thumb and she begins to think. Where to next?
She heads towards the dog bowl. She knows… she knows she isn’t supposed to go there or play with the bowl. She may not yet be one year old, but she knows. With the bowl right in front of her, within her reach, she hesitates. She stops. She glances back to see if I am watching. She knows.
Again our eyes meet. I give her a look that communicates, “Are you supposed to play with the dog bowl?” I don’t even have to say a word. My eyes communicate it all. With that one look she stops. She sits up straight and she returns my disapproving look with a look of her own. With every ounce of joy and delight in her being, she smiles a smile bigger than any I have ever seen. While smiling, she sticks out her chubby little arm straight towards me. With the elegance of a princess, her tiny hand flaps up and down as she gives a sweet and gentle wave.
I have just been played.
Her joy and delight are contagious. My disapproving look immediately vanishes and we share in a sweet moment that would melt any fathers heart. I smile and laugh aloud.
She goes back to her knees and crawls out of sight around the corner.
As she crawled away, my first thought was that she’s brilliant and conniving. It was as though she methodically orchestrated the whole thing. Every detail. The initial approach to the bowl. The glance back to see if I was watching. The smile. The wave. The whole thing was perfectly put together.
As a father, these are the moments I cherish. These are the moments that give my life perspective. They’re simple. They’re subtle. They’re intimate, and yet incredibly profound. They remind me that it’s the little things in life that can bring the greatest joy and delight. They also remind me of just how much I am loved by my heavenly Father. Just like I take great joy in seeing my daughter move about our living room floor at 7 o’clock in the morning, God takes joy in us as we move about our day. Not because we’ve done anything special or significant, but simply because we are His.
My you believe that God finds great joy in you today.
Grace and Peace