A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of spending time with someone I care about very deeply.
I can't tell you her name, because it's complicated, but I can tell you about her (and I've been dying to do that).
This girl, she's about 5 years old. She's beautiful. She is usually high on energy and loves to talk. She loves playing, climbing trees, and putting together puzzles. In fact, she might even end up being smarter than me.
This girl isn't able to receive love from her parents on a regular basis. They don't have that right anymore. But she has her grandparents, and they love her well enough. They just weren't expecting to go through the parenting motions at this point in their lives.
Last time we visited this girl, we wanted to take her home with us. To let her know that she's loved. To prove to her that she has a home.
Instead (because kidnapping is frowned upon around here), we settled for having lunch with her, playing games, putting together a puzzle, and climbing trees.
I don't remember the last time I climbed a tree. And my lungs certainly don't remember either, because they were not very happy when I tried.
But it was for her. To show her that I love her. That I care. That I want to spend time with her and do the things she does and love the things she loves.
We climbed trees for what seemed like hours. She even climbed one that I told her she wouldn't be able to until she was bigger. She proved me wrong, and I was so happy for her.
Among the trees, she has a swing. And when we were done climbing, worn out and tired, she invited me to come sit by it. She told me all about how she swings, and how she has a pile of dead leaves that she collects next to the swing. She stood on the swing as it swung back and forth, telling me about how dangerous it was.
I added to her dead leaf collection that day. And though she probably doesn't remember it, that was a great (albeit silly) moment in my life.
She let me add to her life. To be part of it. To love and enjoy her company.
Someday, I hope I can do this full-time. I long to be her father. But if that day never comes, I know God is taking care of her, watching as she climbs those trees, climbing with her. I know he's there watching her swing and encouraging her to be a little more dangerous, even if it might hurt a little. I know he adds to her dead leaf collection from time to time. And I know he loves her.
I just hope that the day comes when I can join him in that.
... ... ...
Don't forget to subscribe to Life Before the Bucket! If you enjoyed this post, please use those fancy schmancy buttons down there to share this post with your friends and family!