Meeting you was the highlight of my day. After knocking on a row of unanswered doors, the sight of your sweet smile and sparkly eyes greeting us at the door of your babysitter’s home was refreshing.
Thank you for acknowledging us. I enjoyed learning about your best friends at school and your favorite teacher and why you want to be a nail salon owner when you grow up. Thank you for listening to this auntie talk to you about my first love and what he means to me.
Do you remember? His name is Jesus and I want to tell you again that He loves you. He is God’s beloved Son who humbled himself by becoming a man and came down from heaven to live among us. Though perfect in every way, Jesus died on the cross in the place of sinners (of whom I am the worst!) and rose from the dead three days later, proving He is God and the Way to restore our broken relationship with God.
Now I am free to love him because he first loved me! Jesus shows me love is not merely a feeling or a one-time declaration. Love is laying down your rights for someone else. It’s sacrifice. It’s displayed in action. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Heaven, you said you only get to see your mama in the morning and at night. She works long hours at her job to provide for you and your brother, so she’s not able to spend as much time with you as you would like. I know that’s hard. It was probably hard for her to make that choice too. But maybe that is one of the ways she is loving you. She has made that choice so you can have more choices. Don’t forget what you promised me: that you would obey her rules and be a cheerful helper. I bet your mom will appreciate that so much.
You also told me something about the neighborhood. You said that it’s bad, so last year your mom moved your family to another neighborhood a few miles away. I asked you what made this particular neighborhood bad, and you said, it took your father away. My heart broke when you said that.
There are people who walk around here looking like they’re sleepy, you said. Yes, I think I’ve seen them too. You once saw through your front window two strangers sprawled out on your porch after dark. You saw blood. Your mom scolded you for looking. She didn’t let you go outside the next day. I hope that in your new home you are permitted to go outside freely and play to your heart’s content. I pray you make good friends there too.
Heaven, though your biological father is no longer here, please know that you always have a Father who loves you, fully and completely, and He cares for you a whole whole lot. A lot like you love vanilla ice cream or your two-year-old brother. But even more than that! If you knew just how much God loves you, well, I suppose you probably couldn’t take it. I know that most times I cannot wrap my head around His perfect love, but I believe in my heart.
And the amazing thing about our Heavenly Father’s love is that there is never an end to it. There is no limit. You will never meet another who will satisfy the deepest desire of your heart like He can. I hope you feel it and know His love for you sooner rather than later.
Thank you for restoring to me the wonder of possessing a childlike faith. In that way, I want to be like you, Heaven. I don’t know when we’ll meet again, but I hope it will be soon.