Friday, February 22, 2013

“An Extra Special Valentine”

The Jackson Chronicles Part 9
(Another in the ongoing series of our grandson Jackson’s capacity to do and say things that seem far beyond his six years on the planet.)

Last week, as Jackson prepared Valentine cards for his classmates, he asked if he could make an extra special one for a little girl named Lillie. As my son recounted the story, I immediately thought that Jackson must have experienced his first taste of romance. This was not the case, however. Instead, it turns out that Lillie has been frightened by drawings of animals on the walls of the girls’ restroom at their school. “I want to make her feel better” said Jackson. Moreover, it turns out that Lillie faces a particular challenge that likely most touched our grandson’s heart. She has Down’s Syndrome.

It certainly touches my heart that Jackson is, at such a young age, sensitive to the feelings and needs of others. He cares about Lillie’s sense of insecurity, and obviously realizes that her challenge may cause an especially difficult response to the troubling images. Most importantly, Jackson wanted to do something about it. He desired with the special Valentine to show Lillie that what she feels matters to somebody, and that somebody genuinely cares.

We all want somebody to make for us an extra special Valentine, don’t we? Even more, we want somebody to feel the feelings of our own challenges, and to in some way make them their own. Thankfully, Somebody does.

“He careth for you” (I Peter 5:7).

We could spend a lifetime considering, assimilating, believing and rejoicing in the Apostle’s simple statement. We will spend an eternity doing so. Yes, our Savior, our empathizing and sympathizing High Priest, experiences our joys and sorrows as if they were His own. In truth, they are His own because the Lord Jesus Christ dwells within our hearts by His Spirit. He draws so near when we trust Him that He cannot but know and feel the emotional content of our hearts. Moreover, He so loves us that He naturally enters into the ebb and flow of our emotions. “We have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15). In this moment, we can be sure that what we care about He cares about, what we feel, He feels, and that our joys and sorrows are His joys and sorrows.

Jackson’s response to Lillie thrills me because it evidences response to God’s working in his heart to reveal the Lord Jesus to him. Indeed, such caring is not human in origin. It rather begins in the Divine heart of the God in whom all genuine concern for others originates. May our Heavenly Father continue His working in Jackson and in all our hearts to reveal how much we matter to Him, and how much others can matter to us. Doubtless, in this day someone in our sphere of influence would be blessed by “an extra special Valentine,” in whatever form. Jackson’s example inspires me to care, and even more, to do something about it. I’m sure you join me in this offering of ourselves to the Lord so that His caring for us might become our caring for others.

“Bear ye one another’s’ burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

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