We must get to know God while we can – so that we can recognise Him anywhere…
My daughter had a very best friend during the first three years of school, who was a little girl named Mila, and the two were inseparable during their entire day at school – except when their teachers separated them in the classroom because of too much chatter.
They ate lunch together, sat together, played together, wrote letters to each other and made each other cards because they simply enjoyed spending time together. And then, one day at the start of Year 3 – for reasons of their own – Mila and her family moved away and changed schools and my daughter has not seen her friend ever since…
Every day this year my daughter writes a quick story at school, which her school calls a “Quick Write” just to get things flowing first thing in the morning. And every morning she writes about her good friend Mila. Mila has been the protagonist in many a one or two paragraph adventure this year – She has been in a fire, on a bush walk and even diving with dolphins under the sea. In other words – Mila is greatly missed, and we can see evidence of that in my daughter’s work.
I understand this feeling. I have seen it before. My eldest son had a very best friend in the whole world for his first two years of school – Matilda – who he missed very much when he changed schools after we moved house. There was a play-date here and there, but at that age, children usually just make other friends and things move on and so we have not seen Matilda for a few years now.
But in a way, we never really move on from those first friendships. After all, my very best friend in the whole world when I was in Kindergarten was a beautiful blond and freckled little girl named Katie. Katie was surely the most beautiful little girl that I ever saw and I used to buy her lollies from the canteen with my pocket money and play with her and draw her pictures at home. We spent all of our lunchtimes together and we played lots of crazy little games together. And then, when the time came for me to move into Year 1, my parents decided to send me to a different school, and I never saw Katie again – though I still often think of her.
You see, although she was my very best friend, I did not know Katie very well. I did not know where she lived. I did not know whether she had siblings. I did not know what her surname was. And because I did not know her very well at all – and because I was such a little child when I knew her – it is impossible for me to ever find Katie again.
I have been reflecting on these friends of our childhood over the last few weeks. After all my daughter, my son and I dearly loved our infant friends and though we all of us think of them fondly, we have no way of contacting them ever again.
This is not so very dissimilar from God really.
After all God is our very best friend – even when we fail to acknowledge Him – because He loves us more than we shall ever know.
For most of us, when we are very young that is when we are close to God – because we do not complicate things by thinking about them too much and can simply accept Him. But the problem is that if we do not get to know Him a little better, when we have the chance, if we lose sight of Him it might prove impossible for us to get back to Him – it might be impossible to find him ever again… If we do not know Him well enough, we might not even be able to find Him again.
Thank God, that He never leaves us. He is always there – like a long lost friend of our infancy, with arms open wide to embrace all of us – even the parts that hurt…
For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.