The other day while cleaning up some of the icons on my desktop I came across the enclosed photo. It was taken a few years ago at the Royal Melbourne Show. It was taken by Yvette and is of Peter, Daniel and Michael on the Ferris wheel. While Peter looks fairly unconcerned Daniel is not feeling at all safe or secure. In fact his look is one of trepidation. The picture pulls at my heart strings and I want to grab Daniel and hold him close.
This reminds me of the time we were at a market and the boys were anxious to get to the Jumping Castle. As we hurried across the lawn Daniel, who was not quite three years old said in a plaintive little voice. “I no like the jumpy castle”. My heart melted. This was not a ‘toughen up’ time, or a time to show him what fun he could have, or how safe it was. I just stopped and looked at him and whispered. “Sweetheart, if you don’t want to go on the ‘jumpy castle’ you don’t have to.
Many years ago we heard a Pastor remark when reflecting on how we talk about the ‘Father Heart’ of God, that maybe we should call it the ‘grandmother heart’ of God. He related how his daughters went to their grandmother’s house for a sleepover. She allowed them to wreck the bedroom, carry the mattresses through to the dining room and set up a tent under the dining room table, where they all camped overnight. He suggested that only a grandmother would allow that and not consider how much work would be involved in putting it all back together the next day.
If God was physically walking around this earth today I am sure He would have compassion on a little boy who feared a ‘jumpy Castle’ and allow young girls to spend the night camping under the table regardless of the workload it created. Our great God has such a heart for us that His compassion is never ending and He would do anything for us. The fact is he did. He gave his only son as a sacrifice to set us free so that we could live with Him forever. In 2 Corinthians 1:3 Paul says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” Niv.
PS: Two Saturdays ago we went to a children’s day at one of the garden centres nearby and Daniel now a seven year old couldn’t wait to get to the Jumping Castle.