As a little girl I lived in full expectation my stuffed animals would one day come to life. My sister and I would tuck ourselves in our bedroom closet, close our eyes tight, and cover our heads in belief our little friends would drop from the trees of the play land we’d imagined in our heads. And almost every night, I’d pray God would do some miracle and I’d wake up to a room full of furry, friendly animals.
My favored candidate for transformation was a bear named Happy. I’d gotten the buff-colored, pointy-eared bear at a garage sale and loved it’s furry hair right off. It wasn’t the most beautiful sight by the time I was done with it. The orange-rimmed brown eyes were literally hanging by a thread. But the bear was clearly well-loved.
Many years passed, and most of my childhood toys, if they hadn’t suffered the fate of the dump truck, went the way of the neighborhood garage sale. My sentimental sister kept a few of our favorite bears, who survived long enough to meet our own children. But none of them came to life. Until one day.
She was THAT puppy who stood out from the rest. While the others clamored and clawed for food and attention, she sat quietly in the corner, shifting on her paws and pleading with her big brown eyes. I didn’t recognize her at first. Her ears were floppy and her topcoat was a greyish black. When we took her home and cleaned her up, I was met with a vague sense of familiarity. We trimmed off that topcoat to reveal a gloriously fluffy buff-colored coat of hair. And eventually, those floppy ears tipped upward.
I’m not saying my puppy Jazzie is my teddy bear incarnate. Her brown eyes aren’t rimmed with orange or hanging by a thread (thankfully). But I do find it funny that whenever I take her for a walk, people comment that she looks like a walking teddy bear. And when asked what breed Jazzie is, my daughter proudly replies, “She’s a puppy-bear!”
I believe my God has a keen sense of humor and an infinitely great memory. He remembered that prayer prayed in pure, childlike faith so many years ago, and he delights to show his love in the little things. This small answered prayer is a picture of the far more significant ways God has remembered me.
Take a look back at your own life, and you’ll see it, too. Little things no one could have known. The simplest, most pure desires of your heart. Things that say…you are remembered.
“Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? Even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:15-16)