Sunday, October 7, 2007

Child-like Service

As I lay my son down for his mid-morning nap, I noticed a small teddy bear in his crib. This seamed strange to me, as we never put toys in his crib. But suddenly I realized how it got there.

My two kids are on a very early schedule, so I'm usually awakened by the whimpers of my son over the baby monitor. It takes a few minutes to rub the sleep from my eyes and go and get him out of his crib. On the way I pass my 3-year old daughter's room and peek in. Like always, she is already up and playing downstairs (she learned a few weeks ago that if she comes and gets us when she wakes up, we'll send her back to bed: "It's to early" we moan. But if she goes downstairs and plays quietly she can stay up).

I got my son out of his crib without noticing the teddy bear. But when I saw it later I knew what must have happened. Hearing the cries of her brother, my daughter had gone into his room and tried to soothe him the best way she knew how: with a toy to play with.

Now, I know my daughter loves her brother, and she's always willing to help him when we ask. When we're changing him: "Honey, can you get him a diaper?" When he's crying and we're busy getting ready to go to church: "Can you sing him a song?" She's always willing to help. But what made this special is that we weren't watching. She didn't expect any praise from us. She did it just because she loves her brother.

Of course, nothing we do goes unseen by our Father in heaven. But if this small act of kindness between siblings meant so much to me, how much joy must our Father feel when we serve a brother or sister in need? Many times more so when we do it out of love, instead of obligation.

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