Have you ever seen those picture frames with the pre-cut mats for several photos? Some of them have a space for every school picture from kindergarten on up to graduation from high school. It’s amazing to track how a child changes ever so slightly each year until finally they are all grown up.
My parents went their separate ways when I was only a baby. I have no memories of living in a two-parent household. My father did visit me on occasion, but because he lived in another city, I’m sure it wasn’t very convenient to do so. That being said, I really did not know him very well. He died when I was 17. It had been 5 years since I had last seen him. What was his favorite food? I have no idea. Did he like sports? I don’t know. What did he feel about God? What were his hopes? His dreams? I never knew.
This morning as I was in church, something that was said began a thought process that has stayed with me. I began to think of Jesus. I may not have had a close relationship with my earthly father, but God has lovingly made up for that. Though I want to know Him more, I could already tell you a lot about Jesus.
In my mind this morning, I could just picture Him holding me when I was about 4 years old with short, curly hair, holding me up in the air above His lap. The little girl that was me was smiling…
Thoughts can sometimes be so enmeshed that it’s hard to separate them into verbal explanation. Somehow, I felt as if I understood that I am at this moment in time still the little girl that Jesus could bounce on His knee. Of course, I am an adult to everyone I know and I have been for many years. But just like those age progressive photo mats that allow you to see backward into who a child has been previously, I think God looks at us supernaturally in a way that allows Him to view all of who we have been and who we will be. Tender, innocent thoughts that originated in my toddler mind, inquisitive thoughts from my teen years, the contemplative and sometimes frightened thoughts of a young wife and mother—they’ve all been me and God knows me completely.
Who am I today? I may look like just an adult, but I am much more to God. I found comfort in sensing that Jesus is happy to hold me up in His outstretched arms, as though I were four years old, grinning from ear to ear. I forgot to mention one more thing in describing this precious vision in my mind—-
Jesus was smiling, too.