She has found her voice. Riley is almost two years old and has already drawn some pretty amazing conclusions about what the big world is all about. She recently talked with me about resurrection. I’m not kidding.
Mornings in the Hutchison house are special. They begin quite early – most mornings we are up at 5:00AM. Kristin teaches school and I like getting to Trinity when the halls are quiet and the phones are not yet awake. The best time of the morning is at 6:00AM when I open Riley’s bedroom door. There is a brief rustling of ‘Bear’ (she calls him ‘Beer’), her ‘bankey’, and her ‘pappies’. Her head pops up and she says, “Cuddle with Daddy.” We cuddle on the couch and drink “coffee” together. She has warm milk with a little flavored creamer in it, and I have the real stuff. I adore this time of the morning.
One recent Wednesday morning, as we were getting ready to get in the car to head to Trinity for our weekly youth breakfast, Riley looked up at the star-filled morning sky and said “Hi Aggie!” It was the sweetest sound. Aggie, my wife’s beloved childhood pet had died a few weeks ago. Aggie was special to all of us – especially Riley. I was surprised with her comment so I asked her to tell me where Aggie was. “Daddy, Aggie is in the stars with the angels.” In her pure voice – with a smile on her face – she was letting us know that Aggie was fine. Aggie was in the stars with the angels. I looked up at the sky, and with Riley’s voice still echoing in my ears, I saw the faces of friends, family members, and yes, even pets that I thought were gone. They are not gone the small child said with bright eyes and innocent heart. They are in the stars with the angels.
Mary looked for Jesus among his friends and relatives. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. For three days they wandered around Jerusalem looking for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Mary and Joseph were frustrated, anxious, and not very happy. Sound familiar? Jesus says to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I would be in my Father’s house?”
My daughter’s words, words from the teenage Jesus, words from the youth in our churches, schools, and community. We must listen to each other. We do not do that very well.
Riley looked up at me this morning while we were cuddling. I had a smile on my face and she said, “Daddy happy.” Yes baby. Daddy is very happy.