My daughter was two years old. We sat on her brand-new “big girl bed” while Daddy took apart her crib.
It was one of those mom-moments, a rite of passage felt deep in the bones. My youngest child was graduating to a bed without sides, a veritable open range compared to the little space she used to sleep in. She sat quietly beside me, while dolls and stuffed animals looked on, tucked into the sheets of her new twin bed. She stared at the progress of the crib’s dismantling, and I wondered what she was thinking.
Maybe she was nervous, but it didn’t show. Well, maybe it didn’t show because I was too involved in my own feelings. I remember at one point, I turned to her and said, “Mommy doesn’t have a baby anymore…”
It was probably not the best thing I could have said. I could have spoken in bright tones about the new look of her new bedroom. I could have admired the sheets we shopped for together. But mom was feeling a little blue, so the words came out before I could scoop them up and swallow them back down.
I’ll never forget how she reacted to my melancholy remark. She turned around, reaching for something. Then, ever so gently, she placed one of her baby dolls in my lap.
I wanted to cry. My two year old was comforting me. A simple gesture, a generous sharing of what she had, changed my mood to one of joy and thanksgiving. A babydoll in my lap healed my aching heart. That child got the stuffing hugged out of her.
It was a water-to-wine moment. A child’s simple offering became a doorway to the divine.
When Jesus scooped the ladle into the water jars at the Wedding in Cana, He made something ordinary into something singular and surprising. Water became wine. He did no less that day, in my little toddlers bedroom.
God does that as often as I’ll let Him.
The words I say, the things I do to comfort or support are weak things on their own. Platitudes and awed silence are often what I can offer when you tell me about terrible things that have happened to your loved ones. But when I pray to God to help me be a healer, a patch for your open wound, He makes what I say have a power I don’t even recognize. But you do.
My watery-thin, flimsy words become rich, soothing and soul-settling because God has dipped His ladle into my soul and changed everything. When you tell me how much you appreciated our talk, or just how perfect that plate of cookies was, I’ll be surprised at first. But then, I’ll remember.
God was here, and changed everything.
What the world can offer us and what we can offer to each other never seems like very much. But we offer what we have. Although we take the first steps, when God is invited in, the results can be quite surprising.
Maybe even miraculous.
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