by Adam Litmer
I was exhausted. I needed to study and prepare for two classes. Neither sermon was close to where it needed to be. My personal Bible reading was nonexistent. I couldn’t focus on anything, and frustration was taking hold. It’s all because of Evelyn.
Two weeks ago, we learned she has a milk protein allergy that requires Jackie to completely dispense with dairy. Unfortunately, dairy was rampaging through Evelyn’s little system at the time, and she was miserable. She wouldn’t sleep, wasn’t keeping her food down, and there wasn’t anything we could do for her but wait it out.
I was holding her while she fussed and squirmed. Quite frankly, I was feeling sorrier for myself than I was for Evelyn. As she stared up at me with pleading eyes a thought struck me. Jackie and I are her entire world. I knew that already, but I was deeply impressed with the thought at that moment. If Evelyn is going to be fed, it will come from us. If she is going to be clothed, we’ll do it. If she is to be swaddled and rocked to sleep, it will be Jackie or me who does it. If she needs medicine, we’ll administer it. She starts to fuss when we leave her line of vision. She cries out to us when something is wrong. She wants us and needs us. Always. We are her entire world.
Her desperate dependence and profound trust hit me like a freight train at that moment. My mind turned to Matthew 18. "At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:1-4).
Can there be anything more humbling than placing your entire being into the hands of another, to sincerely acknowledge that without them you can do nothing? Evelyn’s cries and pleading looks are not for show. They are not lip-service or her just trying to make sure she says the right things. Every bit of her little heart is in every cry and look she casts our way. She knows how desperately she needs us to provide for her. She loves us just as desperately because we do.
“Jesus is my entire world.” How easy it is to say those words! How easy for them to be just that: words. The desperate dependence and love I see when Evelyn looks at Jackie and me is the same dependence and love Jesus should see when we look at him. God help us to be like children!