The other morning little Sami was up and hungry before Elli. As I sat with her while she ate her breakfast I decided to wade into waters I hadn’t yet in the two months she's been with us. She’s been mentioning her mom a lot lately, so I began to ask her about her mom. I asked her whether she is short or tall, chubby or slender, etc., and what she likes most about her mom (to which she replied, “She gives me spicy chips to eat. The red kind with fire on the bag.”) She quickly began to tear up, so I offered a warm lap and an embrace if she wanted it. She climbed onto my lap and we snuggled for a bit. I told her I know it hurts and I know she loves her mom. She cried and pressed her little self against me.
Then I began to talk about the tiny strawberry start we currently have on our kitchen windowsill. We talked about what would happen to it if we put it outside right now, when it is so little… Sami realized that the wind would hurt it, the cold would damage it, and the sun would burn it. That tiny little start is fragile and depends upon us to properly care for it and keep it safe until it is ready to be outside and on its own. I told little Sami that she is very much like that little strawberry start! She is little, she is fragile, and she needs us to care for and protect her until she is ready to be on her own. I told her how much we love her and how thankful we are that God has placed her with us for this season of her little life.
I'm not sure how much of an impression my analogy made on her, but it certainly struck me! She is so very like that itty-bitty strawberry start. She is fragile and sensitive and needs so much affirmation and unconditional love! What a challenge and joy to care for this precious little person that has been pulled out of her native soil and repotted, so to speak, in our unfamiliar soil. What happens to any plant, strawberry or otherwise, when it has been transplanted? It wilts before it adapts to its new environment. And it certainly cannot thrive until it has adapted to that new environment. This little “strawberry” the Lord has potted in the soil of our family certainly has her wilty days, but she is also showing definite signs of adapting to her new environment. I look forward to the day when we will be able to say with confidence that she is thriving. Until then, we will continue to seek the Lord’s guidance as we water, fertilize, and care for our precious little strawberry start.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea…" "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven." — Matthew 18:1-6, 10