When Natalie was a little girl she woke up with a Monday morning fever. The fever probably happened because she attended two birthday parties that weekend and partied too much. Anyway, I stayed home with her that day and took her some medicine and water. I laid down beside our then four-year-old to cuddle and talk.
I listened as she talked: “Some kids at my school eat salad, but I don’t like salad. I will eat salads when I am older.”
Then the conversation turned to health. “Where is your boo-boo daddy?” I had recently had an appointment where the good doctor checked out my heart and gave me a good report, but in the process gave me a boo-boo and a Band Aid.
“It’s on my leg.”
“Can you play with me today?”
And then this: “Daddy’s are always healthy and strong.”
If only it were true.
I’m wishing today for a perfect world as imagined by a four-year-old. That perfect world would have no Corona Virus. The perfect world of a four-year-old would have no racism, prejudice, or bigotry of any kind. It’s high time, by the way, for Christians to step up and condemn any form of racism.
In the perfect world of a four-year-old there would be no tornadoes that kill and cause so much heart ache, and there would be no accidents that take the lives of the innocent.
In my family’s perfect world there would be no cancer that took Sheri’s life.
But since children only dream of perfect worlds where “daddies are always healthy and strong,” I’m dreaming of other things. I’m dreaming of a less than perfect world where, when death and tragedy do strike, Christians respond with compassion, hope, love, and tangible expressions of grief, and not just “thoughts and prayers.”
I’m dreaming of a less than perfect world, where Christian people find the good in the bad and celebrate it. I do believe with all my heart that God can wring whatever good can be wrung from whatever comes our way.
I’m going to dream and talk about a less than perfect world, where daddies aren’t perfect but there they try their best to be good parents by taking medicine and water to their sick kid and by listening and loving them.
Natalie is now seventeen and she has learned a lot about this real world. But she still hasn’t learned to like salads.