My sweet children give me more glimpses of Jesus than I can take in sometimes. Like yesterday. We had friends Kevin and Barbara McNish and their son Christopher visiting from Florence (they’re Christian Associates church planters there). We went to Valbonne for dinner where there is this lovely square. Many restaurants are represented in the square, and in its center was a stage. Last night was a festival night, so there were jugglers, singers, balloon artists, and, yes, cotton candy.
We ate our dinner and were enjoying the carnival-like ambiance when Aidan and Julia left the table to explore. Aidan returned, breathless. “There’s a sword there, Daddy. I really want it.” He went on to describe a plastic sword. “It would be my first sword ever,” he said.
Patrick asked how much it was. Aidan didn’t know, so he left to investigate.
“Five euros,” he said. “And Julia wants cotton candy. It’s three euros.” Patrick handed Aidan a five, and I gave Julia a two euro and a one euro coin. They skipped off to buy their treasures.
Aidan returned with his sword, face beaming. Julia stayed in the square–her small head obscured by a bouffant of pink sugar cloud. Aidan wielded his sword; Julia devoured her cotton candy, her face pinking by the minute.
That night, Julia was sad because she wasn’t going to Oliver’s birthday party (one of Aidan’s friends). Even though it was hard being a little sister who, in her words, didn’t “get to do anything fun, ever,” she still wanted to give Oliver a gift, but she had none.
Aidan handed her his prized sword, purchased just an hour before. “Here, Julia. You can give him this sword.”
She smiled, thrilled to be giving Oliver something, even if she didn’t get to go to his party. And Aidan smiled, knowing he had learned something about giving.
I smiled as well. The world looks for Jesus in miracles, in large demonstrations of power–like in thunderstorms or volcanoes. But I find He shows up in the most unusual places–in small children who love Him and love others.
I wonder if we miss Jesus because we look for Him in obvious places. He may be as close as the people living behind your front door.