I first began writing this blog on August 7, 2013, two days before Danny was hospitalized for his heart surgery last year. Obviously, during his month long hospital stay in intensive care, I did not finish working on the blog nor publish it, as all of our attention was focused on our next 15 minute visit with Danny and the doctor's reports...and hoping, praying and striving to bring Danny home! The blog lay there awaiting its final revision and finishing touches when Danny passed away on September 8, 2013. Next Tuesday, July 8, we will celebrate the 10 month anniversary of Danny's passing and, today, I finally had the valor to finish this blog. The tears flowed, several times, but I thank the Lord and praise Jesus for the four years we shared with Danny, for the love given and the love received, for the lessons imparted and the lessons learned!
I peeked through the cracked open door to spy on Ana and Danny’s activities in his bedroom. The sight before me warmed my heart and marveled my mind. Danny was lying on his back on the floor, scootched up under his tricycle, yellow construction worker hat on head, wrench in hand and a very serious look on his mechanic’s face. Ana sat patiently next to him, with the toolbox at hand, waiting for his next request. He glanced up at me and responded to the questions in my eyes: “I’m fixing my bike like Daddy.” He was positioned just like Victor when he works on our vehicles and, since the tricycle is Daniel’s preferred form of transportation, well, he was just keeping it all tuned up and ready to roll!
|Mechanic Danny and Assistant Ana|
|Bubble bath time!|
I pulled out the long mirror and two popsicle sticks and announced that I was going to teach them how to shave. You should have seen their faces! Mom, teaching them how to shave? Daddy does that! I filled their cheeks and chins with bubbles and showed them how the popsicle sticks worked like razors…and they took off with the idea!
Do I strive to imitate him as Danny did? Is my striving to imitate him a source of joy for me? Danny’s imitation of his father is a game, it’s play, it’s fun and enjoyable. Have my efforts to imitate my Heavenly Father become burdensome, religious, cold and robotic or can being like my Father be as fun and free as child’s play? He did tell us that to inherit His kingdom we need to be like children.
“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive
the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:17
If you noticed in the video, David didn't imitate Victor, (Victor doesn't shave his arms!) but he did imitate Danny. There is a point where David turns and looks at Danny and then proceeds to copy him as he learns the finer art of rinsing one's “razor”. (Granted, this is after David spends over half of the video just looking for his “razor”, which he had dropped somewhere into that sudsy abyss!) You see, sometimes Jesus just seems too far away to imitate, so we need others to whom we can look..earthly fathers, spiritual leaders, friends, who can reflect Jesus for us until we can see Him for ourselves. Just as Paul said to the new believers in Corinth:
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” I Corinthians 11:1
Danny’s imitation was so imperfect, but gave Victor and I so much joy. Is it truly “perfection” (a lack of errors) Christ is seeking? No! Christ calls us to completion and sanctification, but not in order to gain his love, nor approval, nor appreciation, nor in order to be a delight to him. We are already that!
“For the Lord takes delight in his people.” Psalm 149:4
“He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:19
Is it possible that God smiles while seated on his throne as he watches our simplistic, and childish, efforts to be like Him…no matter how imperfect, but with a heart that desires to be like him? Just as Victor and I smiled at Danny's efforts to be like his Daddy? Could it be that it’s not so much the actions that come oh so short of his perfection, but the heart behind those actions that matters?
Oh, to be like my Heavenly Father!
All of the hoping, praying and striving for Danny to come home while he was in the hospital worked...Danny went home! To be with his perfect, Heavenly Father! The One who loved him from before conception and will love him through all of eternity! Thank you, Danny, for being a special little boy who wanted to be like his Daddy and who reminded me how much I want to be like my Daddy, too! Say hi to Jesus for us (or Lord, say hi to Danny for us)...hugs and kisses sweetie and we'll see you in the Lord's perfect timing!