Saturday, April 18, 2015

Nevaeh's smile

Nevaeh crawled up on the bed. “I picked a good one Papa.”

And she read.

“Jesus and the twelve disciples.” She pronounced it disciplines.

And it was precious.

As she read it was as if angels descended and ascended a ladder, filling the room with a little bit of heaven.  

Did you know, Nevaeh, is heaveN spelled backward?

It was heartwarming…and heart-wrenching all at once. Because, I knew the world would try to steal all that’s precious and sweet and good about this child. Her innocence would be attacked and ridiculed and slandered. I know. I see the headlines, I’ve watched the news.

And she prayed...for the whole wide world.

Her voice, soft like the pillows around her, drifted across the room, and then wisped up the ladder to heaven.

My heart danced to her gentle tune…but my mind, jaded from too much living, raced ahead, against the onslaught that I knew was just around the bend. I knew, sugar and spice and everything nice wouldn’t always be, what danced in her head.  All too soon she’d come face to face with the ugly reality of life. 

A thousand headlines of ugly and evil flashed before me.

My jaw clenched and my fists grew tight. I stood in the gap and warred against the enemy of her soul.

“…and thank you for mommy and daddy and…”

She thanked the Lord for everything, from turtles to teachers at school.

Her eyes were squeezed tight… “and thank You Jesus, for dying on the cross for our sins—”

I wondered if she even knew what that meant.

“—so that mean ole devil can’t get us.”

And then I knew she did.

Yeah, the world sucks. It’ll try and suck the Life right out of a precious child—and adult.

But, Jesus said don’t worry, I’ve got that covered. In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world…so the mean ole devil can’t get you.

So, who do I believe?

Bad news

Bee stings

Heart attacks

Heart breaks

Scary wars

Skinned knees

Runaway bills

Runny noses

Or… “I have overcome the world.”

She opened her eyes, her palms still pressed together pointed toward heaven. She yawned. “Oh, so many blessings it’s hard to count them all.”

The world stood still. Time froze.

All the ugly and evil headlines vanished…His Word remained.

When was the last time I counted my blessings, instead of the cost?

Sure, there’s trouble. But where’s my focus? Who do I believe? The headline news, or, The Good news?

She looked at me and tilted her head, like maybe she knew that what I was thinking was kinda sad.

She smiled a smile that held no fear, no worry, just trust. Her smile depicted what Jesus meant when he said, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Who do I believe? I believe that smile. Who do I choose? I choose, Jesus.

I know there’s going to be bad news and skinned knees. I won’t bury my head in the sand.  But from now on, I’ll try to remember a lesson from this little child named after heaven—there’s oh so many blessings it’s hard to count them all.

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