It was a few weeks before Christmas, and I had the priceless blessing of watching my 20-month-old nephew Caleb for the day. The day was filled with giggles and messes and fun. When evening came, I got him changed into his pajamas—red flannel ones for Christmas, of course—but Caleb wasn’t about to give up on the day just because he was in his pjs. He ran from one end of the house to the other; he threw his sippy cup of juice on the floor. He giggled and laughed some more, and he resisted sleep with every fiber in his toddler’s body until he could not hold out a moment more.
Every time I see him, he inspires me to live life to the fullest, to embrace it, and to leave my unique mark on it. His smile lights up a room as bright as a single star lights up the night. Every time I see it, I think that I would do almost anything possible to see it again.
I know that one day life will threaten the light in his eyes. Smiles will be fewer and fun won’t be as easy to come by. When that day comes, I pray that God will use me or one of the many others who love him to point him to another Baby. I pray God will use us to encourage Caleb by reminding him of the Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes who came to bring us life in the fullest.
Both the Baby in swaddling clothes and the toddler in red flannel pjs point to the same truth—when you move through life with a God-given purpose, you will touch hearts with joy and change the lives of everyone you meet. And that is something worth smiling about.
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