My daughter is almost three, and she loves being Mommy’s helper around the house. She loves bringing diapers and toys and blankets to her brother. She loves helping load the washing machine. Lately, though, her very favorite thing to do is to help make lunches each morning. I am so thankful for her sweet little heart to serve, but honestly, things would go a lot more smoothly and would happen a lot more quickly if she would just watch me do it. Her little hands don’t work too quickly and she can’t read my mind, so I have to explain each step, wait for her to complete the step, clean up after each step, and help her refocus for the next step. Basically, I have to help her “help” me. I sometimes wonder if it is worth it. It would be easier to make the lunches myself. I would get done quicker. The mess would be smaller.
The other day as I was trying to hold back my frustration at having to clean up a mess she had made when trying to fill a lunchbox, the Lord gently reminded me how my interactions with my daughter are similar to my interactions with Him . . . except that I am the little one being given the opportunity to “help.” This world is His. He created it. He rules it. He still has a vision and mission for humankind, and despite my fumbly fingers and distracted mind that veers off task regularly, He allows me to be His helper. He invites me to be a part of His story. He allows me to love and to serve and to teach and to pray and to grow with those around me. He knows that in allowing me to be a part of His story, I am growing in my faith, growing closer to Him, and I am becoming a better helper.
When I think about what a blessing and honor it is for me to get to play even the tiniest role in the Kingdom, I am overwhelmed with joy. What an undeserved gift! Despite my flaws and failures, my less than perfect execution, the Lord allows me to participate in ministry to others. Even when I feel like I lack certain skills, he still lets me go with Him. Like a good father, He takes his children to work with him, teaching us how to love and to serve like He does. How could I ever deny an opportunity to learn or to serve to someone else?
So the next time my big girl asks if she can help, I hope I am quick to say yes and extend her grace. Even though it will take longer and be more difficult, even though it will be messier and imperfect in many ways. Because I am extended that same grace every day.