Last night Merissa stood at the window, tippy toes sunk into the carpet, both hands on the sill for balance. She was wearing flowered cotton jammies with elastic cuffs. Her back was to me as she stared raptly out the window, the light reflected from the glass turning her curls pewter pale.
Past her silhouette, was the neighbor's roofline only eight feet away and beyond that, the pines, their tops lit with the sun. Between the pines glowed the brick of the brand new middle school, now a luminous orange red, full in the light of the setting sun.
My daughter was looking in the other direction, where I could not see. I knew she must be seeing the front lawns of the housing neighborhood, rectangular plots of green with young trees, one to each house, and the glittering glass and paint of cars waiting in the driveway and the windows looking across the road at each other, and the road itself, curving toward a gully still green with trees that hadn't been cut down.
It was the Outside, alive with enchantment and invitation. Merissa knew the function of nothing at all, only the shapes, the colors, the movements. She could sense the distance in each direction from her incredible height at the second story window. To her, the spinning vent on the neighbor's roof was just as lovely, as breathless in beauty as the lucid evening sky. There it was, the world laid out for her.
Merissa turned to me and smiled widely in delight, as if remembering all over again that I was there. She attempted to sit down, but lost her balance at the last minute and plopped down suddenly, her expression one of mild astonishment. Then she smiled again and lunged forward into a cheerful crawl toward me.
I know what it is like to stand at a window and look out at enchantment expansive and beautiful, something beyond description but full of invitation.
I was reading in Luke recently and came across this passage:
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
"If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
I used to read this passage and assume it was talking about getting various things- clothing, vehicles, that sort of thing. Then I saw that in Luke, Jesus says that He is talking about requests for the Holy Spirit- our Comforter, our Guide, the One who proceeds from Abba and testifies of Jesus.
Jesus is saying that if we earnestly, persistently ask God for God, we will receive God, not a scary or empty counterfeit.
We are not going to receive a stone, which cannot satisfy our hunger. We are not going to receive a serpent or a scorpion, that could sting and hurt us.
This is a "how much more" parable. This means that even if we imperfect parents know enough to give our children gifts that are good and nourishing, how much more so will our Heavenly Father do this for us- Abba being perfectly good, being Love.
We can have faith to know that when we ask for God, we will receive God- not because we are good, but because Abba is.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.