This morning I woke up early to do some online work before heading to New College to study. I have had a little cough for the past couple of days. Ezra has had one for the last 3-4 days. Due to this cough, he has had trouble sleeping. Thus, he was awake around 6 am this morning and had trouble going back to sleep. Around 7 am, I was working in my home office and started to cough a bit. All of the sudden, I hear him say all of the way from the bedroom, “Daddy, are you okay?” At first, I ignored his question because he was in the room with Allison and I was afraid that if I responded it would keep him from going back to sleep. However, he asked again. He then asked a third time. At that point, I knew that he wanted to know that I was okay before he could go back to sleep. I rose from my chair, poked my head in the bedroom and said, “Yes buddy, I am okay. I just have a little cough like you.”
One thing I have noticed about Ezra is that in the midst of all of the typical three-year-old craziness, he has a very tender heart and really cares about people. It is our job as parents to protect and nurture this. In one of our recent talks, Allison was talking to me about the fact that I do not always respond to her with the same grace and compassion with which she responds to me. Regrettably, she was right. I didn’t even try to argue. In the midst of trying to do a much better job, I have really started paying attention to how Ezra responds to her. He responds to her in a wonderful, tender, caring manner when she is hurt or if something is wrong. I have caught myself lately saying to myself, “I need to check on her like Ezra just did.”
I am reminded of the following verse:
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)
Granted, I am taking this out of its eschatological context, but there is still a useful application here. I can honestly say that at times, Ezra is leading me. There is nothing like a child to reveal your true heart.
In my opinion, this is a timely reflection. Over the next 7-8 days, Christians all over the world will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. He entered the world as an infant. Even at the age of 12, he was found in the temple teaching, helping…in a word, leading.
We can learn a lot from children. They are one of several channels that the Holy Spirit can use to open our eyes, knock on the door of our heart, convict of sin, and extend an invitation of transformation.