When my sister's family decided to move out to Mindanao, my 2 year-old niece, Theara was left with no other playmate - but ME. To my delight, she would come to my room early morning, wake me up and say breakfast is ready. She would watch me put make up on my face and force me to put some on hers. She would cry if I left to go somewhere and would yell out to say goodbye, I love you and don't forget to buy Mentos! When she got hurt, she would run to me and let me wipe away her tears. She would lay in my arms and listen to me tell her stories.
After a month, my sister's family came back and so did Theara's playmates. In the morning, I would realize I woke up late because the one who used to wake me up is now playing with my nephews outside. While they're busy role-playing, imagining scenarios, producing sound effects for planes crashing; while they're running everywhere laughing, sometimes fighting, I would just stand there and watch. Theara would never approach me anymore to say how beautiful my hair is or how much she liked my dress. I don't know what happened to her but for some reason, she would not let me hug and kiss her. She doesn't care anymore if I left for work. She is busy. She has her friends now.
Today, I came home with a huge announcement to the kids asking who wants to come to the store with me later to buy candies. All of them said a loud YES. I hugged Theara asking what she wants and with twinkle in her eyes, she enumerated the candies she wanted. I felt warmth in my heart. There's this special intimate feeling that only children can give - and I felt that again with her at that time.
It dawned on me that I sometimes have to give material things to them to show my love and intimate feelings. And then I remembered God. Many times have God blessed me with good things that I was sure He was using to draw me close to Him. My laptop, printer, Ipod, bicycle, rubber shoes and even that dinner treat that satisfied not only my stomach but my soul through the company of good friends - that money from a friend that seemed like a gift dropped straight from heaven - that listening ear of a friend or that book that changed my life.
But sometimes, God comes empty-handed.
Life suddenly becomes a mess and I become just flat broke or something goes wrong with my relationships or my job. Then I am left with no choice but to gaze at the giver of all things. Seeing the tears in my eyes, He would tell me He is everything I need and I've got everything I need to not only survive but live an abundant life. In fact, I am blessed by Him this way. And I feel better after crying in His presence - not because I am made richer or a miracle happened in my relationships or my job - but I feel loved by no less than the Creator of the universe and beyond.
I sure love it when Theara finally hugs and kisses me because of my candies, but I will always love it more when she does it even without them.
"When our deepest desire is n0t the THINGS of God,or a FAVOR fr0m God,but GOD himself,we cr0ss a thresh0ld." - Max Lucado
"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (Philippians 4:11-12)