Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Coy Smile

As I turned her stroller onto the sidewalk, I leaned down to catch her attention and asked, “Who made you?”

She shifted her head up at me with a coy smile.

I continued the one-sided conversation, “God.”

She still smiled at me with those deep brown eyes and soon lost interest as most fourteen-month old children do.

But that didn’t slow me down. For weeks I repeated the same old question that thousands of my Puritan forefathers asked their children.

And she continued to greet me with a coy smile.

Three months go by with varying levels of consistency on my part. But something happened:“Who made you?...”

She replied with a coy smile, “God.”

! I was excited! So I asked her again. And she gave the same response.

I couldn’t wait to tell others. Grabbing my wife, I proudly asked our daughter the same question. And she replied with that coy smile, “God.” Mom was excited. And of course, Mom had been working at the same goal. Training our child in the fear and nurture of the Lord was a cooperative effort.

At church we quickly presented our child to our spiritually adopted grandparents. I excitedly explained that the two of us had been training her to know about God.

“I know,” replied grandma. “I’ve been teaching her that question at church as well.”

My excitement froze; I stared at her, thinking, of course. In my excitement and focus on the task of instruction, I had forgotten what I already knew: that God gave a helping hand to the biological family.

It is the family of God (1 Timothy 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:19). Carrying one another’s burdens and even instructing the younger are commands of God (Galatians 6:10; Titus 2:3, 4)—commands that should be counted as privileges between Christians.

Now with the confidence that I am not alone, as I turn her stroller onto the sidewalk, I lean down to catch her attention and ask, “What else did God make?”

She shifts her head up at me with a coy smile.

I continue the one-sided conversation, “All things.”