Dancing With Leprechauns and a Father Who Loves to Bestow Good Gifts
Mar 22, 2015 12:17PM ● Published by Bill Gilman
(Editor's note: Our newest columnist, Bonnie Lyn Smith, is a longtime resident of the Merrimack Valley. She is the author of Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God's Purpose in Each New Day and a blogger at Espressos of Faith.)
Why, do you ask, are we talking about Saint Patrick’s Day when March 17th is over? Well, we’re not, really, unless you want to take a brief detour (but then please come back!) to learn 14 things you probably didn’t know about Saint Patrick.\
The other day I was in a local grocery store with my daughter. It was a few days before Saint Patrick’s Day, and the entire store was decked out in clovers and green décor. You could pick up clover cookies or a sparkly green cake from the bakery. Personally, I was hoping there was a pot of gold to be found. (After the energy bill this winter, I may as well throw my entire wallet to National Grid and be done with it!)
We Bostonians are admittedly a bit obsessed with this holiday. I had a hard time talking with my son’s elementary school teacher the other day because she had this cute headband-Irish-hat-thingy on her head, and it bounced while she nodded. I could not thereafter form one coherent thought while looking at her. Not one. But we Irish (and partly Irish) peeps have to represent, after all!
As we turned the corner of the second-to-last aisle of the store, there he was. He was on the shorter side, sporting a red wig, leprechaun hat, green suit, belt, and shoes.
And I had to talk to him. Really, when you find a leprechaun roughly 2 feet away from you, how can you not greet him? (My tween offspring may beg to differ.)
But I didn’t just chat. Nope. Didn’t stop there.
I asked him to dance!
That’s right! I asked him to perform an Irish jig right there in the store! (With festive music playing in the background, I had already knocked my clogs together one or two times just to get a shocked smile out of my daughter.)
And you know what? He did it! He danced for me!
This got me to thinking: Do we stop and celebrate in the moment? Or do we rush grumpily through our to-buy/to-do list, barely stopping to notice little green men approaching us?
I am in no way suggesting that God walks up to us as a leprechaun (although He is infinitely creative!), but He approaches me often; I’m just not always paying attention. In my life, here are a few examples in the past few years:
He speaks so sweetly through the kind encouragement of a fellow parent walking through a similar struggle with one of her children, offering a knowing nod and perhaps an arm around me.
He gently conveys meaning in my life through the timely sermon the pastor offers, and I wonder: “Who told him about my week? Everyone else may as well clear out of the room because the pastor is talking to me!”
He reminds me of His presence through a hymn that a dance studio chooses to perform at a competition where everything is otherwise Katy Perry, OneRepublic, and The Fray. In an environment I would not expect to be acknowledging my faith, the dancers are not just performing—they are worshipping the risen Christ!
He sends help and rescue through a phone call when living far from almost everyone and everything I love, curled up on the floor in incredible depression. Not in any way aware of my state of mind, one of my dearest mentors dials the phone as if by appointment, right on time!
He answers me through an incredibly kind teacher that I prayed all last year my son would have for this year (I even enlisted my Moms’ Prayer group for this request), and she is everything my child needs wrapped up in a big bow with fantastic communication as an extra bonus!
I’m beginning to realize how much of these provisions in our lives are God-appointed. I do not believe in coincidence. I believe that if you receive something when you need it, it’s not a cosmic accident. There is a Father in heaven Who loves to give good gifts to His children.
Matthew 7:7-11, ESV, Jesus speaking
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him (emphasis mine)!”
Did you notice the last part of the verse? “To those who ask Him.” So, there it is: Trust, faith, and the willingness to be vulnerable and ask Him.
James 1:17, ESV, James, Brother of Jesus, speaking
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
How do you see God approaching, providing, loving you through the most ordinary of circumstances? Have you invited Him to have a relationship with you?
When I think of how God interacts with me each and every day, I find I am destined to dance with leprechauns because there is no greater joy than a Father who bestows good gifts on His children!
Author Bonnie Lyn Smith writes about parenting, marriage, mental health advocacy, special education, faith in the valleys of life, the healing cloak of Jesus, drawing healthy boundaries, relational healing, renewing our minds, walking with a Holy God, and much ado about grace. Join the conversation at Espressos of Faith.
Her book, Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day, offers anecdotes on all of these subjects and Scripture for each situation as well as Book Discussion Questions for deeper exploration.