It was an unusually warm day for the late fall season. Eunice, my niece, was playing while my dad was trying to fix my sister’s TV. He was taking parts apart, and Eunice was clearly an obstacle for his grand project. The living room was dark, in contrast to the bright warm late Autumn day. The warmth of the sun was calling me. I had to change into my running gear to go out for a run as soon as I came back from work.
“Eunice! Let’s go outside!”
Thinking my dad could use some alone time to focus on his project, I invited my niece to go outside with me. My three-year-old niece did not hesitate. She immediately got up to put her bare feet into her shoes.
“You have to wear socks. Go get a pair.”
I directed her, and she quickly went into her room to grab a pair. I sat down, with her on my laps, and lovingly put those little pink socks on my adorable niece’s soft feet.
We ran to the playground, I pushed her swing. She wore a big, big smile on her happy face, and I knew that moment meant the world for her. I could have ran by myself. I usually do. I would go run at least 2 miles to purge my stress, and to lose weight. Music playing in my ear, cold wind beating my face, and I would feel like nothing can defeat me. I’ve always felt so strong when I ran. Running is my element.
But today, I discover my other element. Perhaps, this is something even more powerful than all my countless runs. I discover that playing with my niece, making her happy, pushing her swing, and running from one playground to another for our playground hopping make me feel like I am more than on the top of the world. I feel like I am completing my mission, my purpose, and my vocation.
Not many people can run with their niece at noon enjoying the sunlight, sharing the happy laughter. I am blessed to take part in my precious niece’s life almost every day. I have all the power in the world to take her to a playground, or to a coffee shop for some cookie time, tag along in a big van when my sister takes Eunice to her preschool.
The movie I recently watched “Solomon Kane” follows his journey of redemption. A once-murderous sea captain — Solomon Kane — is holed up in a monastery in retreat from the devil, whom he fears is coming for his soul. When the time arrives for the devil to claim his soul, however, he achieves his redemption by saving the life of a girl. He returns the girl to her desperate mother safely, giving the mother the only thing that she could ever ask for: to be united with her daughter. To her, the daughter meant more than the entire world. And that’s what Solomon did. He didn’t just safe a girl. He saved the girl that meant the world for someone.
And that day at the playground, I see my niece the way God sees her. To Him, she means the world. To Him, she is so precious. She is one of a kind, and He created her fearfully, and wonderfully. He planned her even before her mom and dad planned to have her. She was planned and promised to her parents, to me, and to the rest of my family eons ago. She means more than life to her mom and dad. To someone, her safety and wellbeing are his top priority. She is loved by God, always under His protection and her angels are watching over her.
So that was the girl that I was making happy that afternoon. And to see her smile was the redemption of my soul.
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“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:17-18)
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matthew 25:40)