Sometimes you tell the story. Sometimes the story tells you.
This week my tale began: “The warm air in the lobby of the bank wrapped its arms around me as I stepped inside the door. The line that snaked around the velvet ropes promised I’d be here for a while, so I undid the buttons on my long black wool coat. A white Christmas tree with golden ornaments and lavish ribbons brought the room to life.”
“This stirs me deeply: a young boy races to the Christmas tree at the bank and touches the ornaments, filled with joy. He reminds us in this simple act to connect with others as we follow Christ’s lead. We too, touch the lame. The blind. The outcast. And through us, Jesus Christ moves to heal them.”
I need a photo of a kid for this story, I say to myself. So Friday, on a mission, I drop in on the bank.
A long line of customers winds around the velvet ropes. A small boy plays with one while his father waits his turn.
There’s the kid I’ve been looking for! I think. He’s a toucher—no doubt about it. I ask his father if I can take a couple of pictures of the boy with the Christmas tree. He agrees. A few minutes later, they join me.
I find out the kid’s name is Jonathan. He plays with the ornaments while his dad, Jhasmanik, and I exchange information. (After all, this blog post is about to make them famous!) When I turn to take the picture with my smartphone, though, Jonathan bursts into tears. His father lovingly reaches out, picks him up, and draws him to his chest. I speak calmly to the son and try to coax him to pose for the picture.
Jonathan draws back and settles into his father’s calm assurance. Here is his safe place. When you’re with Papa, everything is okay.
Now he lifts his head and reaches for one ornament after another. His face shines like the dancing reflection of the sparkling balls before him. His dad puts him down, and Jonathan smiles and leans forward for more magic. I take a few more photos of now-beaming Jonathan and Jhasmanik.
Once home, I review the photos. An amateur photographer, I’m still learning how to compose a photograph. The background of a photo often contains people or objects that I discover in the editing process.
This time, I’m surprised to find that behind Jonathan and Jhasmanik is an ad that says, “SIDE BY SIDE we’ll help you succeed.”
That’s the absolutely delightful promise God’s speaking over you today. He’s holding you in His arms and whispering, “You’re a toucher.” Filled with the wonder of His presence, stretch out to explore His beauty with childlike wonder. Papa God’s holding your hand. Embrace the day with new-found confidence. For He declares over you, “SIDE BY SIDE, I’ll help you succeed, My child!”
Friend, how is Papa God transforming you in this season?