by Jeanette Levellie
I’d had one of those days that you don’t even wish on your grumpy landlord. My computer wasn’t talking to my printer. After two hours on the phone, they were friends again, but then the printer jammed. And the phone wasn’t working right. Yep, one of those days.
And those days seemed to be happening more and more often.
Nearly a year before, our daughter had announced her divorce. The tumult that followed for her and her three young children tested my faith to its maximum stretching point. Then our son moved back home, and was struggling to find a suitable job.
I wasn’t sleeping too well these days.
At my job as administrative assistant at The Presbyterian Church, I usually sat in the assembly room to eat my lunch. One entire wall is filled with stained glass windows, the central one of Jesus holding and blessing little children.
That window nourished my soul every time I gazed on it. Sometimes I saw myself as one of the kids in Jesus’ lap, his hand on my head, blessing me. Sometimes I thanked him for his bottomless mercy as I looked into the thoughtful set of his eyes. He wasn’t smiling in this picture. He was empathizing with all the pains of growing up but still being a child. And I loved him for that.
But on this very horrible day, after I’d eaten I wandered down to the toddler’s playroom in the church basement. I needed to be alone, to decompress from the rigors of adulthood with its computers and printers, phones that wouldn’t phone, and kids’ problems I couldn’t fix.
Perhaps crying was somewhere on my agenda, too.
As I entered the door of this room bursting with color, I spied the best spot to sit—a quilt-covered rocking chair. I took a seat and let my eyes peruse the walls, where someone had taken great pains to letter “Jesus loves the little children” in several languages. Another kid-loving artist had stenciled pairs of animals leaving the ark—fun ones like butterflies, turtles, and Capuchin monkeys. On the wall opposite me, baby hand prints made into flowers winked and smiled.
I started to relax. Breathe. Soak in God’s love.
Then to my left I spotted a set of bright yellow shelves with various toys, all sparkling clean. “Someone cares about these babies,” I thought to myself. Among the toys were bins of smaller playthings, all labeled in neat printing. “Blocks.” “Jungle Animals.” “Little people.” I smiled, remembering the happy hours my own children had spent decades ago with their “little people” toys. How simple life was in those days.
Then the Lord spoke.
I don’t mean I heard a voice. But down in my heart, where I sometimes hide behind my pain and where I only let Jesus in, I could feel his blessed wisdom wash over my anger and frustration. “Everyone is a little person to me,” He seemed to say. Your problems are not more tangled than others, Jeanette. But if you’ll let me, I’ll hold you till the pain goes away, and I will give you the answers you need.”
I knew then that Jesus didn’t expect me to solve all these grown-up issues alone. I sighed and held up my arms to him. His love was big enough.
P.S. When I showed this article I’d written for a magazine to Rev. Rodger, he asked me to put it on the website, hoping that you would enjoy it. –Jen