Each Wednesday afternoon, the boy and I get to keep his little 8 month old cousin, Sarina. She is such a joy. One of her favorite things about our house is that we have four cats. She just loves to watch the kitties.
One day we were playing on a blanket in the living room when one of the cats snuggled up right next to Sarina and began to purr. Sarina was very happy to finally get up close and personal with one of these mysterious creatures. She immediately reached out a chubby hand to touch the kitty’s face. She did not expect to first encounter whiskers.
She drew her little hand back in surprised delight. She looked at her hand and then looked at the cat. She reached a second time; again the whiskers tickled her palm. This time she broke a wide smile and patted the whiskers. She marveled there a while before moving on to touch the sleek fur, the delicate ears, that little pink nose. All the while, kitty sat warm and soft, purring patiently beside her new friend.
It was a sweet moment to behold. I’m glad she shared it with me.
Today offered a different kind of sweet moment as beautiful Sarina Leigh was dedicated to the Lord at church this morning. It was a privilege to gather around her with family as the pastor prayed over her. I cheated during the prayer, though, and peeped one eye open to see what she was doing. Her family may have been deep in prayer, intent on the great spiritual battle that rages all around us, but Miss Sarina was completely relaxed in her daddy’s arms, leaning back and looking around as if she didn’t have a care in the world.
“That’s right, baby girl,” I thought. “You just sit back and enjoy- we got this.”
At a another baby dedication a few weeks ago, the pastor explained that really we are dedicating ourselves to lead and pray for this child as she begins her walk toward the narrow gate. Just as I sat beside Sarina to guide her safely through her first encounter with a kitty, we all have a very serious responsibility to shepherd the children in our lives through the wilderness and right to the foot of the cross.
So you are safe and loved, Sarina. Protected and blessed. My prayer for you is this, that you will reach your little hand to Jesus with bold wonder. He is full of delightful surprises; grace and mercy abound in His presence. You can reach right out to him, close enough that His whiskers will tickle your hand. He is your friend, your personal savior, and He will sit patiently beside you for as long as you want.
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3