Yesterday was one of the best days ever.
It actually started out pretty rough. I woke up and my throat was scratchy and I hate that stuffy feeling in my head that told me I had caught a cold. If you know me… you know how much I hate getting a cold. I am a self admitted baby when it comes to colds. They drop me. I just want to stay in bed and take Nyquil til it goes away. I also want my wife to wait on me and nurse me back to health. Neither of these things ever happen. My wife is already a super woman… the best mommy I know and does more for me than I already deserve. So I drug myself out of bed, took some Dayquil and started the day. And I felt horrible.
But yesterday, was one of the best days ever.
The reason? Yesterday afternoon my 4 year old daughter, who most days stays surgically attached to my wife, came into the den where I was watching the news and asked if she could sit in my lap. “Of course you can!” was my instant reply. Now 99.99999% of the time – she only wants mommy so I could have been in the middle of a delicate surgery and I would have stopped to take her up on this request!
As she climbed up in my lap she handed me a small orange Gideon Bible that she found and lately has been carrying with her everywhere she goes. She keeps it in her “purse” which contains other such important items as all of her “priceless” princess jewelry, lip stick (chapstick), seashells, a half dozen or so rocks and other assorted knick knacks. The little Bible is one of those pocket New Testaments with the Psalms that the Gideons give out at state fairs. It has no pictures. And she can’t read. But it’s important she has it in her purse.
She handed me the little Bible and asked me to read her a story. Now again – this was also unusual. She typically wants mommy to read to her. And if it’s a Bible story she wants it read from her Princess Bible… I asked her if she wanted me to read her The Christmas Story… and she settled in, her thumb in her mouth ready to listen. The funny thing about reading this to her was how she wanted me to keep the Bible where she could see what I was reading – even though she can’t read. I guess just in case a picture somehow might appear.
Now, I’ve read Luke 2 more times than I can tell you. In fact in school – I had to memorize the entire chapter at one point. I still know it mostly verbatim. But as I sat there reading it… I got choked up. I felt tears sliding down my face. When I finished Luke 2 she wanted another story. And so I read Psalm 23. Another memory verse. Even more choked up.
Avery is a very perceptive, very empathetic little girl. I’m certain she didn’t know why daddy was teary… but she turned her head and looked at me, gave me a big neck hug, smiled and got down and went to play with her brother.
Yesterday was one of the best days ever.
I got emotional because of how much I love her and how awesome it was to just sit there with her. But I also realized yesterday that I haven’t done that enough with my kids. (Tera has actually been way better about reading the Bible with them. Have I ever mentioned how much I love and appreciate her and the awe that I have for who she is and what she does?)
I also was emotional because of a thought that was crystalizing in my mind… no matter how young they are – they love what we love. My kids need to hear me (along with my amazing wife) read from The Book that I love. Because I want them to love it too as they grow up. The lessons we learn from our kids are some of the most important in our lives.
Thank you Father for the amazing family you blessed me with. Thank you for simple reminders of who you are and how important your Word is for us in our daily lives.
Thank you Father for one of the best days ever.
Jason Rehmel is the Lead Pastor at Eastside Christian Church on the east side of Cincinnati. If you are someone who has had a terrible experience(s) at a church or churches – stop by some weekend and give it one more shot with Eastside. Whether you have felt judged, or dismissed, or unwanted – wherever it has been – Eastside is different.