Delighted: Thoughts on a Childlike Heart

Last night, after a reasonably long and tiring day, my wife and I managed somehow to reverse roles with regard to bathing our children. I normally do bath time for our daughter — a sometimes difficult toddler who is a bit too heavy for my wife to feel comfortable regularly trying to get out of the bath wet — and my wife does bath time for our son — a six months, he is swiftly closing in on his sister’s weight, if not size entirely.

I left the bathroom carrying my son and got him through the rest of his routine — dried, covered in lotion for his dry skin, and dressed. My wife brought my daughter out and everything seemed to be settling in to a normal night. My daughter asked me if I would play in her room. It is a fairly normal and often reasonable request of hers and I was not busy with anything, so I told her that I would.

I did not see the look on my daughter’s face, but the look on my wife’s face spoke volumes. The simple act of agreeing to play some game or another with my daughter and to do so in her room had made her night.

I do not know why this was. Maybe it was because I had been terse with her when she was trying to insinuate herself into my son’s bath time, though I had apologized and welcomed her back in the next time she tried and worked at finding tasks she could do to be helpful. Somehow, some way, the simple act of agreeing to play some game with my daughter was enough to delight her.

Two things immediately came to mind. First, I wondered how terrible a father must I be for that to be all it takes to make her night. The second thought chased the first away. The second was this: It takes so little to delight a child’s heart. It required practically nothing for my daughter to be absolutely thrilled with her lot in life. Daddy was going to come build something with her. More, it would be in her room. She would have me all to herself.

I got to thinking how complicated I make things between God and me. I do not hold onto that childlike heart He tells me I must have in order to enter the kingdom as often as I should. I think that I need some thing that seems important at the time when all I really need is for Daddy to come sit with me and build. For my daughter, I built bits of this and that which she immediately took to playing with in a manner not intended by the design of the thing. But it delighted me, nonetheless. More, it delighted her. How much more does my Father; my Daddy in Heaven want to build things in my life which will delight me and in my use of which He will likewise delight? He wants to bless. It blesses Him to bless.


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