Her sweet little voice sparkled across the drab auto-service waiting room, like clear water rippling over stones in a fresh mountain stream…spilling as dappled light over my weariness. Chitter-chattering to her Grandma, she turned her eyes to mine, blonde hair framing her 3-year old face like a soft aureole. I smiled warmly – such a dear little face! – and she, taking it as invitation, danced close enough to touch. “Hi!” she piped, beaming joy at me.
“Hi!” I echoed.
“C’mon, honey,” her Grandma called.
Ah, children…, I thought. Such pureness of heart. Those little ones that make me want to scoop them into a hug …
The door opened – Grandma and child again. I saw them head towards the candy machines behind a counter. Not really paying attention, I could hear only her excitement. Again, as they were leaving, she caught my eye, I smiled…and this time she came running back to me…as if we were close conspirators… nearly face to face.
“I found it!” she sparkled her pride at me, her hands and feet in perpetual animation. “All by myself! I went by the candy machines, and there it was!”
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see her Grandma patiently watching. I could feel the importance behind the child’s words, like she just knew somehow I was a kindred spirit. Even though I only understood she’d left something she valued and now had found it, I knew she was sharing her treasure with me – a stranger. A gift of trust, so freely given.
I looked into her eyes, beamed back, “Good job!”
Smiling, I could feel His smile softly falling over me. The Shepherd who will leave the 99 to go and find His lost one, carry the lamb back on His shoulders, rejoicing that He too found His greatest treasure…. From the TV overhead, news of wars and sorrows still flowed. But in my mind’s eye a heavenly star lit up the twilight sky. I found it too, my heart whispered to His. The gift of joy He’d just sent my way… like soft sunset watercolors painted across my day. And maybe, through me, on hers too.
Peace, soft as a blossom on a sweet breeze.
My encounter yesterday with this little girl was too lovely to let go without word-painting her for you here… She makes me think of Cait with a C, why I love hearing and sharing her young-girl perspective on life, family and encouraging words… and hope you do too… Stay tuned for more still to come with Cait in these pages!
© Pam Depoyan