A Father drops off his young daughter at a birthday party. The child sits quietly on the way, hands clasped in her lap. She is noticeably anxious. If you were able to penetrate her thoughts, you would know her emotions are swirling and mixed...she is SO excited to be going to a party, it's her first one, after all! This will be the first party where she is a big enough girl to go on her own...the first party where she gets to play with her friends, eat cake, and play lots of fun games.... and inevitably, she's bound to receive many incredible gifts, and make some new friends during the day.
She has some anxiety...a flutter in her tummy... and an unsure feeling. This is the first time she will be away from her Father...this is the first time He will not be evidently by her side to keep an eye on her, and protect her. She timidly asks Him, "Daddy... what if I don't like it there? What if I need to talk to you"? Her Father smiles and looks His beautiful child in her trusting eyes..." My precious girl...don't you know? I am just a call away...ALWAYS". She sighs...she is reassured.
They arrive at the party, and the little girl is met with open arms, and excitement..."She's HERE"!! Yells the lady who opens the door.... and she escorts her into the party, where, unbenounced to her, she is the guest of honour... for she is the celebrated.
She is shocked to find all of the wonderful things in front of her. Exquisite boxes wrapped in jewel tones, with floral ribbons, and bows tied with thick velvety ribbons. As she opens the first box...she gasps in shock...for before her lies a map. It is a living document, with a starting point, and an ending point...and all of the exciting places in the middle are marked with a fuschia "X".
The next box she opens, has 2 cannisters in it. She looks curiously at them, and gently pops the lid to the first one. An explosion of silver confetti fills the air, and inside the empty container, she finds a ring...and it has an inscription on the inside of the band. It says..." Potential, Courage, Faith, Hope and Love...Love Dad".
The second cannister does not have the same explosion, but rather, a small pendant on a gold necklace...the pendant is a violin. She knows this will be a part of her life...for she has always had a passion for the instrument.
The day carries on...and the Father actually becomes homesick for his little girl. He calls to see how she is doing. He is thrilled to find that she got the ring and the necklace..for they were gifts from Him. She tells Him how wonderful her day has been. He is a contented Father.
Later on...as the afternoon fades into evening, the little girl becomes tired. She is worn out from an amazing event... a place where she has had more fun than she could ever imagine...has been given personal, invaluable gifts that she cherishes, and has indeed, made many friends throughout the duration of the day. She has also had some arguements, shed a few tears, and even found herself with a skinned knee when she fell on the sidewalk. Just as she has the phone in her hand, to call her Father to come take her home, an amazing thing happens. He is there. Standing in the doorway...a broad smile across His kind face...arms spread wide to embrace his girl. He sees the daughter he adores...and runs towards her... arms expectant of His little girl, ready to come home. "Daddy?", she asked puzzled, "How did you know I was ready to go?" He laughed lightly, and touched her cheek. "My child...I knew the minute you would arrive, and surely, I know when you're ready to come home".
He asks her, "Did you have fun, favourite child of mine"? She buries her head in His shoulder... and she holds His neck tightly. "Daddy...I had such a good time! I played with my friends, I met so many great people who I love very much! I learned how to play so many games I didn't know how to play before, and I received gifts so perfect for me, it's like I picked them out myself".
He grinned broadly, and whispered in her ear..."my beloved...I gave you the gifts...the ones that mattered...I gave you the map to mark your path...I gave you the engraved ring so to remind you that all of those things are in you. I also gave you the necklace... it was my favourite gift to you. I knew how much you adored your violin, and you have always played so beautifully."
"Daddy", she whispered..."I want to go home, but I don't want to leave my friends...I love them so much". He looked compassionately at his baby girl, and said..."Honey... they will come over to OUR house soon...you don't have to miss them. Remember how you felt at the celebration when I dropped you off? The friends from far and away are at OUR house right now, because we're having an even BIGGER party to welcome you home!!"
As they got into the car, all of the attendees from the party rushed out to the front lawn to wave goodbye to the guest of honour. She rolled down her window, and shouted, " I am going home for another party! I get to see my grandma, and my favourite uncle, and my little sister who has been away for a long time!" The crowd of friends cheered and waved...and blew kisses to the little girl. "I will miss you!" she exclaimed, "Thank you so much for the great party! Daddy says, whenever any of you comes over, we will have a party for YOU when you get there! I will see you all soon...I love you all very much".
While sadness filled the crowd as the little girl pulled away with her Father... a collective energy raced through them like electricity. "We will see her again!" Someone said. "I can't wait to go to her house, and see what kind of party her Dad puts on!" said another. A small voice rose from the back of the crowd, and said..."I'm going to learn the violin... I will think of her everytime I play, and someday...we can play together."
"In my Fathers house, there are many wonderful places! If it were otherwise, surely I would have told you. For I am going ahead, to make ready a place for you." John 14:2
My friends, don't you want to go? xo