My Little Fairy . . .
I have a fairy in my family. Yes, I am the father of a real life, six-year-old fairy.
God gave her a name that runs deep in her, deeper than she knows. Her name is Aletheia Mercy . . . Aletheia means 'truth,' but someone pointed out that it also means 'reality.' And this is what I am now taking to be her real name, Reality and Mercy.
Aletheia lives on another plane of existence. She sees and walks around in a realm that we cannot see. Of course, this can be bad when it's time to do school work, but otherwise itís an incredible thing.
It's also something that can get in daddy's way when he's in a hurry, or in a grumpy mood. This is often the case.
Daddy gets busy, doing stuff for other people, and various other things that grown-ups think are important. Daddy doesn't have time for silly games.
Recently our family took a vacation; a real vacation, the first one in over three and a half years. It was nice, but for the first time in her whole life, I feel that I got to really behold the beautiful creature that is my eldest daughter.
She plays and buzzes around with delightful sweetness. Toothbrushes talk (yes, toothbrushes) and pencils have feelings "strong feelings" about the things that they want to create on the paper. Stuffed animals have deep conversations about life and castles and far away lands where princesses abound and rule with armies of ballerinas.
Magic follows this girl. She believes. She really really believes.
As her daddy, I have an amazing power. I can kill, destroy and pillage her land of wonder and drown it in rigid performance and routine; without thinking; turning her into a convenient child who is seen and not heard; obeying her daddy's every command; with the stone cold look of a zombie on her face.
The other night we had arrived at a hotel. They had given us a massive room, really really cheap. The girls were ecstatic to be out of the car. Allie was buzzing all over the room.
She had decided to arrange everything in a fun and cute way. It was great to watch. She was so busy. When she's really excited, she starts walking on her heels. It's one of the cutest things you'll ever see. Her feet move so quickly, like a speedy little sprite. This went on for about half an hour. I watched, delighted for some time.
But then I had to go to the car to get something; she had moved my keys.
I was immediately frustrated, sure that she had simply been careless, and I couldnít believe she would do this. My wife, in a very loving and subtle way gave me a look, a look that spoke a thousand words. I looked at my Allie, and saw her choking back tears.
Right away, she went to work, undoing all the magic she had done; literally. She did every arrangement backward, backtracking to find her mistake. She worked so hard, and I could see that she wanted more than anything to make me happy. She was desperately trying to maintain her composure, not to break up and cry.
I watched her little, sweet spirit retreat inside of her. I had crushed her.
This tore me up. In my heart, I could hear God's whisper. "Is she not more important than all these things? Will I not deal with your needs? I've given her to you, to care for and give life to. Back down, stubborn man. Back down, and be a man. Show her my face, not your own. Show her who her real Father is."
I chewed on this. My pride was big in my gut, dominating me with that burning desire to be right. Then she came to me with fear in her eyes of getting in trouble, and had the key in her hand.
I was done. I put the key aside and took her up in my lap and held her face with my hands. Her eyes are so deep and blue, you can see for miles behind them. They were ringed in red. "I am so so sorry, my darling girl!"
I kissed her forehead. She looked surprised. "Allie, you are so much more important than anything, any car key, anything we might lose. You are my princess and I love you and I am so sorry."
The sweetest smile came across her little round face. I could see her standing back up inside. Her wings outstretched proudly. She was awake and alive. She squeezed me tight, and then "like a little boy who has caught a dragon fly, then released it for fear of crushing it" I let her down. Again, she buzzed proudly around the room. My little fairy, bringing life with every step.
It occurred to me . . . this is what we're here for. To give life. To help others spread their wings.
This lesson is for every interaction with every human I see and touch. People desperately need others to see the good in them, to lift it up and dust them off so that they can fly higher. Free and soaring around. This is what we were made for, each moment like this. To seize it, to find the bondage and chains in whoever is in front of you, and cut them off.
We may find our world more magical than we had thought...