A couple weeks ago, I was sorting through a file of recipes that I’d cut from magazines when I came across the drawing that you see above this article. Our daughter drew this for my husband and me when she was about four. If you’ve ever spent time with a four-year-old, you know that you don’t ask a lot of questions about what they’ve drawn. You’re too likely to interpret a dinosaur as a dog, a rainbow as a horseshoe, or a fish as a picture of great grandma. When four-year-old Krystal presented this photograph to us, I assumed she had made a drawing of angels. When I mentioned that, she was quick to correct me. No, the picture was of me and her daddy.
We were tickled that she thought enough of us to dedicate time and artistic talent to producing a portrait. I was particularly delighted that she gave her mom and dad angel wings. Wow, we must be doing something right.
Okay, fast forward to the college years. We’re past teenage angst and enjoying relating to our children as adults, patting ourselves on the back for the great job we’ve done. Of course, if our daughter saw us as angels, it follows that we must be pretty good parents. One day, when Krystal was home from college, and I was looking for recipes, I pulled out that sketch and mentioned how sweet it was that she had drawn us with angel wings.
Our daughter smiled and said, “Mom, those aren’t angel wings. They’re hands.”
I looked a bit closer. Sure enough, each “wing” had five “feathers.” Consistently. She had drawn hands with fingers, NOT angel wings. Darn! But you know, after a bit of consideration, I realized that it was better to have our daughter see us, not as angels but as regular people – with great big hands.
Think of all the things parents have the privilege of doing for their children. They hold them, comfort them, feed them, push strollers, build sand castles, decorate Christmas trees, tuck them into bed, turn the pages of a storybook, fold hands in prayer.
In the Bible, in the New Testament book of Matthew, chapter 18, verse 10, Jesus has a conversation about children with his disciples, and he tells them, “in heaven [the children’s] angels do always behold the face of my Father…” (King James Version)
Neil and I didn’t need to be angels for our children. We’re not nearly perfect enough for that role, and, besides, God has already provided angels to watch and protect. Our job as parents is to do our best to be there with our giant and caring hands to help the Father convey to his precious children how very much they are loved.