Ro is my wife tbV’s sister and this is one of the most incredible encounters you may ever read about:

A couple months before Christmas, Aaléyah and I had the following conversation on the way home from school one day…

Aaléyah: It’s Jesus’ birthday soon. 

Me: Yes. At Christmas time it is His birthday party. 

Aaléyah: I need to get Him a birthday present. 

Me: Yeah. Good idea! You know what gift He would love the most?

I enthusiastically launch into the ‘salvation message’…this is my moment!

Aaléyah: Hmmm. No, I think I will just get Him a shark. 

Guess I need to work on my ‘presentation’ a bit. But it got us thinking. We wanted to encourage her enthusiasm to give Jesus a gift – but how do you give Him a shark?

And then Matthew 25:40 jumped to mind: “I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

And so, as Christmas drew near we kept our eyes out for someone that God would highlight to us that He wanted to bless. We regularly saw a young boy with his mom at some robots, and he crept into our hearts. We found a stuffed shark, Aaléyah wrapped it up, put a card on it, and she went to give her shark to Jesus, through Elethu, the young boy. And I think Jesus smiled down on her.

And it made me think more deeply – am I only looking for that ‘decision’, for Aaléyah to pray the ‘repentance prayer’? Or should I be focusing more on the journey, on facing her towards Him at every moment that her childlike innocence challenges my faith. Sometimes it feels more like she is teaching me how to live my life daily for His glory than I am teaching her. I love it!


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