(Now I doubt I’ll get an audible “Amen!” from anyone for saying that, but I know I’m getting more than a couple silent ones from person/parents who know what I mean.) :v)
That being said, I surprise no one (including myself) by saying that I am overjoyed that Reese is here and apparently sticking around for the long-term. For one thing, with Reese around things happen – moments occur – that wouldn’t otherwise. She spices life.
For instance, I remember a time when Reese was very, very young.
Reese, Mindy, and I were sitting together on a couch watching a truly odd movie. It was a live action musical based upon the story of the puppet Pinnochio’s toymaker/father Geppetto. It starred Drew Carry (with hair!) and Julia Louis Dreyfuss (with an English accent!).
Toward the end of the movie Reese was fiddling around with her ear. Before I knew what was happening, with much fanfare she pulled out a glob of earwax. She called the glob her earring. Without giving me time to react, she wiped it on my hand and said to me in a tone of serious command, “No eat that.” She had nothing to worry about. I obeyed without question.
Instead, I was both repelled and curious. I asked Reese if she had tried to eat one of “her earrings” in the past. She indicated that she had.
The spice of life.
It goes without saying that such moments would never have occurred without the advent of Reese. It also goes without saying that if one day she gave me the single-finger-salute and left my life forever, or if she were snatched away by crime or tragedy, I would be ripped in two. It would feel as if all my bones had been crushed into powder. And I would be desperate to move all creation to set things right.
Perhaps this is a way God tricks me into feeling a little like God.
Christians have a habit of talking about God as a Trinity. In essence, if we are to envision the God of the Bible, we don’t imagine “The Lord of Heaven and Earth” as a lonely, solitary God. Instead we are told God is love.
In other words, God is at the core a relationship, a fellowship of mutual honor, sacrifice, and care between the three the Bible names Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the God that mysteriously existed before the fuse of the Big Bang was lit.
For me there are two implications of this Trinity thing that are essential.
For one thing, before we came into existence God did not suffer from loneliness, from a hole God needed human beings to fill.
God was already a perfect fellowship of love. We were not created to fill a need. We were created out of an overflow of love. We were not created to do something for God. Our creation was an invitation to share in the community of love that is God.
Nonetheless, once the world was created, God decided he would rather die than lose it and lose us.
This calls to mind the story of Jesus as the embodiment of God’s love for us, for creation. In other words, even though we may have given God the single-finger-salute and gone our own way, it is awe-inspiring how much God wanted to welcome us back into his open arms, even if those arms were opened by nails on a Cross.
To sum up: we weren’t needed, but, goodness, we are very much wanted. That is good news that keeps us from thinking too much and too little of ourselves.
And, it is news that makes a certain sense to me when as a parent I consider not only the wonders of God, but also the wonders of my daughter.