“Okay,” I said.
“I’m finking,” he said, “of something that has feathers and wings and a beak.” He peered at me, eager, excited, anticipation tracing across his features. Would Mama guess it from his clues?
Not wanting to deflate him or make light of such valiant effort, I made a show of it, thinking hard, throwing out guesses that bombed. Finally, I said it. “Is it a bird?”
“YES!!” Jubilant, happy, there went those eyes again, shining to beat the band, turning my heart clear upside down. Back and forth, Little guessing, then Mama guessing. Back and forth, love playing, love answering, love delighting.
Later, sitting at my desk, here he came, eyes glist’ning proud, and he held it up. “Mama, look!” There on the paper in red, sparkly crayon, were two stick figures, one smaller, one bigger. They smiled, mouths drawn wobbly, with big, lopsided ears and two stick legs apiece. He’d drawn the two of us, holding hands to cross the street.
“Oh, yes,” I said, happiness rising, “that’s just how we do it!” Grinning proud, he turned and trotted back downstairs to hang it on the fridge.
This morning as I sit in my favorite place at the coffee shop, column finished, I think of the other picture that hangs just below the first one. It’s our family, the whole half-dozen, rendered in purple crayon by a budding artist.
There we are, spread across the page. The Artist is tucked, teeny, into the corner. Daddy, the biggest, is front and center. Behind him in smaller, varying sizes, are Mama and his three big brothers. Daddy in the center…
And I remember what Little’s Daddy said just the other night at the dining room table. “I learned something today,” he’d said out of the blue, my self-employed, hard-working husband.
He looked at me. I knew he’d been working hard to get our taxes finished and get that dreaded FAFSA form completed, for this fall, Father will have two boys…
I listened. He continued. “You know how your work was down last year?” I nodded, knowing full well how the loss of my largest account due to things beyond my control had played havoc with the family finances. To the tune of eight thousand dollars.
“Well,” he said, ” my work came up last year – by eight thousand dollars.”
Family portraits. Father, front and center. Child asking, parent hearing. Love answering, love delighting…
That’s how it goes, my friend. That’s what happens when Father God’s in the center of the portrait. It’s the way it works in the Upside-Down Kingdom. Child with needs; Father with unlimited supply. Child asks, parent answers, love delights.
And He helps us cross the street…
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear. I will help you.’” – Isa. 41:13