"Hey...don't throw your backpack on the floor...Do you have anything in there that I need to see?"
"Where's the Raviolis...I'm hungry. There's something about the Christmas program in there...We can't say Christmas anymore, now they call it the "Winter Program"...so dumb..."
"Well, we still say Christmas around here, OK." I reach down and open her backpack and pull out her wadded up papers. "Oh, I am reading this and it says you are going to be in the production? “
"Mom, don't get too excited...I am a snowflake...and there's nine more of us, so I don't exactly have the starring role. I have to get to soccer practice...I want to get there early and run a little more.”
That's my daughter, always the rough and tumble tomboy. She is ten years old, but sometimes I think she is more like twenty. It's just the two of us and she does her best to act like she is taking care of me, but we really take care of each other. As we load into the car to go to the park, the conversation continues.
"So, a snowflake huh. What is the story about?"
"Oh, I think we're singing a song about "Let it Snow" and we have to dance like we are snow...Mom...can we change the subject please?"
I knew this wasn't up her alley, and I was actually wondering why she didn't protest more when she got assigned that role. But, I obeyed her wish and dropped the subject. For the next few weeks leading up to the "Winter Program" and the holidays, my daughter, Sam, would seem quieter than normal, more moody; not quiet herself. One night, she got up from the table and announced she was going to bed. It was only 7:00p.m.
"OK, Sam, what's up? This is your Mom here...talk to me."
She turned around and burst into tears. I hadn't seen that since she was six years old when her Father left us. I think that day she cried all her tears out and I really hadn't seen any since.
Sniffling...she came into my arms and confessed she was miserable at school, especially since she had to be in this "Winter Production" as a snowflake of all things.
"We're all the same, know one will notice me and I can't dance… and I can't sing… and I feel stupid and everybody's parents will come and I don't have a dad...because I was not special enough."
I knew then it wasn't so much about being a snowflake...it was that her Dad wasn't in the picture. I thought it ironic that she was the superstar at her soccer games and she never mentioned her dad, but now when she was out of her element, feeling insecure, well, I knew it was time to talk about both Fathers.
"Honey, your real Dad has a hard time even loving himself. He did do the right thing because he loved you. He needs help with his anger and didn’t want you hurt. Sometimes people just have to work on themselves before they can give to others. We need to pray for your Daddy to get healthy and be happy.”
Before I had a chance to say something else, Sam asked a startling question.
"Mom, does God ever notice me?"
"Sam, did you know each and every snowflake that falls from the sky is unique and different? You ask your teacher at school.
When the scientists put them under a microscope, all the crystals form different shapes and there are no two alike. God designed that...don't you think you are even more special than a snowflake to God?"
"Is that true? Really?"
"Yes, Sam...Let me get my Bible and read what God says about you. Here, look, God knows the number of hairs on your head, and here in the book of Isaiah, God tells us He knew you as He formed you in my tummy, and God reminds us that we are made in his image, wonderfully made. Most important though, I want you to read with me God's promise in John. Sam, He loves you so much and wants to be your Father that He died for you...even if you were the only snowflake on stage or one of a thousand, He picks you to be his beloved daughter."
Mom, I want Jesus as my Dad. Will He help me to not be so afraid?"
"Yes, Sam, Jesus will help both of us. Let's pray."
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