Bella. Gentle. Innocent. Only three years old. Resolute!
All she said when her daddy dropped her off at preschool today was, “My Mommy?”, and that started the flow. Eventually, the tears subsided and just like everyday for the last four weeks, she refused to take off her not so little backpack or put down her pretty pink lunch bag. In addition to these bags, she collected various papers and carried them around in her hand.
I tried every subtle trick I knew to distract her and relieve her of the backpack and lunch bag burdens. After plainly offering to hold them for her, I received a quiet, but unshakable, “No”; then she would turn away from me. I interpreted the unspoken message as: Don’t you know that the moment I see my mommy I want to be ready to go? When she arrives I will be ready! I tried tempting her with the preschool puzzles. She would drag the pink lunch bag across the wooden, knobbed pieces. At recess I tried to get her to run with me and to let me hold her bags. Again, “No”. As she watched her classmates running, painting, playing, rolling play doh, washing dollies with sopping wet cloths, and bouncing balls during gym, she continued to carry her things; and every so often, with imploring eyes, she would look up at me and say, “My Mommy?”. (Deep sigh from me.)
At lunch she finally relinquished her bags to the side of her chair…for only as long as it took to eat some fruit. Nap-time was more of the same. She sat on her mat with the lunch bag hanging from her little arm while leaning against the backpack, still on her back. She finally fell asleep after just sitting for close to an hour, knees propped up supporting each other and a fist-full of Kleenexs in her tiny hand. Now it is important to know that she pleasantly went through the motions of her day, with all the other members of her class, from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Really. This whole day (as all the other days before) her unwavering focus was on her mommy’s arrival. She wanted to be ready. She willing went through the hindering of her physical activity and missing out on the freedom of a carefree three-year-old to make sure she was ready.
Now I don’t know about you, but to me, this scene shone like a neon light pointing out the way we should be ready and waiting on our Savior’s return – resolute, unwavering, steadfast, and so focused that nothing detours us from watching and being ready…not even inconvenience. Jesus told the story of ten virgin’s so inclined as little Bella. In Matthew 25: 1-13, only five were waiting and ready and entered into the Lord’s reward because of their steadfast focus on Him. Is our focus worthy of reward? Are we easily distracted and pulled away from the urgency of our mission? Jesus is already on His way back to redeem His children. Will we be ready?
Oh, and yes, Bella’s mommy did come for her. Bella surprised me by simply smiling up at her mommy seemingly to say, “I knew you were coming. Now all is well.”