A Child’s Love
Up to this point I’ve tried to bring stories of love that have changed the world in big ways. Even though we may not have been aware before. But the world isn’t always changed in big ways. Often it’s affected in small ways that make big differences. And I want to make it a little personal today. You probably realize by now, if you’ve read most anything I’ve written, that I strive to make a relationship with God central in my life. So when my wife and I struggled to have a child we turned to prayer. And prayer… And more prayer. For years we prayed for a child. Along the way we decided that we should not only try to bless our lives with a baby, but that we could also bless a babies life with a family. So we decided to adopt. A couple years into the adoption process Whitney got pregnant. It was the greatest answer to prayer I’ve ever experienced. We unwittingly named our daughter Cora Fae Summers. We didn’t know when we were choosing her name that it literally means maiden faith. And that is what she is. That’s what she has. A little maiden with more faith than I have ever seen before.
I preface this story with our faith just so that you know the roots of where this story is coming from. I want you to know that our daughter is raised in a family with faith in and love for Christ. But having expressed that I want you to know that we’ve never made her, or expressly taught her where we believe God is and what He’s done. We haven’t tried to teach her specifically what Jesus did or why we should love Him. Because as I write this, she is barely two years old.
The Bible says that, “God’s invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” – Romans 1:20 (ESV) But here’s the thing. It’s easy to take for granted the things around us. It’s easy to forget how special a blade of grass is and how amazing our world is. It’s relatively easy to start believing that it could all be just a coincidence when we forget to see creation in awe. Babies however, don’t know anything about the creation story or the theory of evolution. But without knowledge, I saw a simple faith in my daughter I’d never seen before. At six months old I could ask her “where is God?” and she’d simply raise her hand. Not to point, but as if to indicate He was all around and above us. Whenever she’s been asked if she loves God she’s always said yes. In her I’ve seen what it means to have faith like a child. (See Matthew 18:3) Her’s is not a faith founded on doctrine or knowledge; rather, her’s is a faith of obviousness. It’s as though if she could express herself she would say, “Of course I believe in God, He’s right in front of me.” When I witness the faith of a child I understand more clearly the worlds of Christ when He said, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” – Matthew 18:10-14 (ESV)
It’s a small thing. The love my daughter has for God isn’t world changing now, like that of Mother Teresa or David Livingstone, but it has been life changing for me, because my child’s faith has demonstrated what the Bible says faith is. That it’s not belief in something that can’t be proven, but rather, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) Faith in God to a child is akin to the faith they have in the love received from a loving mother. It can’t be proven, but it is undeniably apparent. My daughter’s love for God is simple. But it is in its simplicity that it is so profound. So when my daughter, after waking up from a bad dream about something hurting her mommy asks simply to talk to Jesus for momma it leaves a dad like me amazed at the love of God and the love of a child. It’s a reminder that love doesn’t have to be complex and world changing to be life changing. Just simple acts of faith and love can change the world too. Maybe it will never win an award or gain fame for itself, but you never know what it can do for another person. And if it can change the world for one person, it’s impossible to know how much the world will be changed in generations to come. It’s likely that the world will never know my daughter’s name, but her simple and great love has changed the world for this daddy. Can anything better be said of a thing than that?
May You Know Love Today,
P.S. Right now I’m fortunate to have an opportunity to spend over a week with my daughter, just the two of us, because Whitney is in Ethiopia picking up our adopted son Israel. Who by the way, has a big sister that can’t wait to hold and take care of him.