Treat People For What They’re Worth
My two-year-old tends to look a lot like me sometimes—not necessarily with her blue eyes or blond locks that curl around her shoulders. Her resemblance doesn’t reside in the curve of her nose or the shape of her face. Even her smile is her father’s. No, in pictures, you might not think we look exactly alike.
But the way she relates to others is eerily similar.
“An-dad bone,” she says, pointing to the iPhone 6 in her granddad’s hand. “Peeeese.”
The middle-aged man looks up at me and smirks. “If this is how I get her to come to me, I’ll have to let her play with my phone more often!”
I chuckle at his comment, but tremble inside. I want her to go to her granddad because he’s her granddad. Not because he has something shiny in his hand.
Images flash in my mind—Marie running towards Grandma, her light-filled eyes constantly fixed on the iPad in Grandma’s lap; that same small girl twirling herself dizzy before sprinting toward the kitchen when someone ruffles the bag of crackers; the tiny tot bringing Mommy her keys so she can go for a ride in Mommy’s car.
I look at her tiny, growing body crammed into the crook of Granddad’s arm as she pops “bubbles” on the iPhone. I want to tell her what she’s worth. What Grandma and Granddad are worth.
That people are worth much more than what they can give you.
They were worth the sacrifice of God Himself.
My hopeful heart is restored when another image flashes through my mind. This time, it’s the memory of my daughter after being separated from me for two days while I delivered and cared for her new baby sister. On the way home, my husband and I picked up some Chick-Fil-A as a peace offering, and agreed that Marie could have as many french fries as she wanted this time.
We pulled into the driveway at Grandma and Granddad’s house with our delicious surprise. Before my foot touched the ground beneath me, Marie’s sweet voice cried out.
“Mama!” She ran to me then—golden hair flying, her eyes filled with relief, her smile filled with joy—until she crashed into my arms. “Mama!”
Her small hand patted my back and she melted into my chest, head propped on my shoulder, as I lifted her from the ground.
“Mama,” she said repeatedly as we sat at the table. She looked at my parents, my in-laws, my husband, and my new baby, then pointed back at me. “Mama.”
“Yes, baby, I’m your Mama,” I replied. “And I won’t leave you again.”
“Mama hand.” She slipped her tiny fist into my palm. She reached across her body to give me her other hand, as though I might float away if she didn’t anchor me with both arms.
She sat there, both hands in mine, totally abandoning the feast before her so she could stay in the presence of her mom.
That’s how I want to approach God, I thought later, after my heart had mopped itself up and put itself back together.
So many times, I’ve gone to God in search of the sparkling treasures He promised. I’ve scoured His being, frisking Him to see what He has for me. But how many times have I run to Him, not for what He has but simply for who He is?
God is worth so much more than what He can give me, I realize. All at once, I am overcome with appreciation for who He is and overwhelmed that He would share Himself with me.
“Daddy!” I run to Him then—my short brown hair flying, my eyes filled with relief, my smile filled with joy—until I crash into His arms. I slip my tiny fist into His palm. “Daddy.”
“Yes, baby, I’m your Father,” He replies. “And I never left.”