Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Perfect Day

Like most Christians with children, Christmas is a two-faceted holiday at our house. We try very hard to make it center around Jesus' birth, and God's great gift of love. The picture to the left is our Christmas art piece this year: It's a print done in three colors that our daughter chose; she also drew the design. She called it "The Best Gift."

But Gifts. Oh, gifts... She loves the gifts, of course! And even more exciting: Her birthday is December 26th. So gift-getting is high on her list of thoughts in December.

A favorite gift she received at Christmas was a Barbie guitar. It plays several songs, including "A Perfect Day," a song our daughter loves to sing. It describes the perfect day, and our just-six-year-old used this term to describe today several times. "It was a perfect day, Mom!"

It was a pretty perfect day for a six-year-old birthday. She had Cap'n Crunch for breakfast (not usually allowed), cake before lunch, pizza at Chuck E. Cheese's for lunch, followed by playing with her cousins on the games for a couple of hours (and gifts!). Cake before dinner (with more gifts!), chocolate chip pancakes for dinner (her choice), and more cake. Pretty perfect.

But when she said, "It was a perfect day," I couldn't help but think of the parents in Newtown, CT, who had a very different Christmas from us. And who won't celebrate a birthday with their wee ones ever again. And how the world is overflowing with grief and need and hatred and anger and poverty and desperation.

And, oh, how I want to protect her innocence! I want to keep "a perfect day"  within her grasp.

However, I don't want her to be insulated from knowing her own blessings. Or from comprehending the world's great need for her action, her caring, and her prayer. No, I'm not going to be explaining the massacre in Connecticut to our six-year-old, but we do sponsor a child through Compassion International (a terrific organization, by the way!). We do volunteer to feed the hungry and lonely in our community. We do donate our outgrown clothing and toys to The Salvation Army. And we do talk about all of these things we do and why we do them.

But even more, I want her to know that every, single day is "a perfect day" because we are redeemed people! Even on those days when seemingly everything goes wrong, we are the most blessed people on the earth! God Himself has already forgiven and accepted us as His Righteous Ones. We are assured of His love and His grace!

And on the days, like this one, where things are going really well and "life is good," I want her to remember where she belongs. I want her to enjoy her birthdays, and may they be many. But I also want her to know that her REAL treasure is in heaven.

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