Today, our little four-year-old, Viviana came sweetly into my office where I was working. She came bringing her little pink soccer ball, we gave her, and had a big smile. I stopped what I was doing and picked her up and gave her a big hug. She found some toys in the toy box that I keep in my office. She picked up a baby toy and told me, “We should save it for when a baby comes,” and I said, “Yes, you’re right, we should, then we can teach the baby to know it’s colors.”

Then she picked up the goofy stuffed animal, and wanted to play, so, I gave my best rendition of goofy, and we talked about her soccer ball. She liked it and loved the interaction. She then, asked me for a piece of peppermint that I keep in a candy dish in my room, and told me that she had already had good food. I smiled. She said, “I’ve had grapes, peanut butter toast and a banana.” She knew that I would ask her, before giving permission, so she went ahead and told me ahead of time to make sure she was genuinely qualified to have some peppermint. It was so funny. Then I told her that she could get me a peppermint too. So she did. But she told me, “You can only have half, since you haven’t eaten any good food yet.” I mused at how funny it was, and laughed. But it was true. So, I said, “Ok, I’ll just have half right now.” And I kept the other half in the wrapper for later.

Then she found a book near the toy box, and I picked her up to sit in my lap and we read it together, “Hoppity Frog.” She asked what the last page said, so I told her, “Here he is!” and showed her how to read it, one word at a time, sounding it out. So, she read it correctly. And I told her the difference between an explanation mark and a question mark. I told her, “I know that’s a big word,” but she said it anyway, “explanation mark!” Then she asked me, with some puzzlement, while still enjoying her peppermint, and still sitting on my lap, “Is pepper the same as peppermint?” And I said, “No, what you’re thinking of is, black pepper, and that goes on food, but this is peppermint, and it’s different.” So she felt wiser to know the difference.

I told her, “I’m so proud of you; you are so sweet, and so kind, and you are learning so many good things, and I love you very much!”

Then she jumped up and said most assuredly and confidently, “I’m learning a lot of things, that I didn’t know when I was little.” And I said, “Yes, you sure are. And you are a smart girl.”

Then she happily played rocket ship for a few minutes, with some of the stuffed animals and books, before she heard the sounds of her Aunt Gigi playing the piano downstairs in the living room, and off she ran to go and be near the magnificent sounds of worship at the piano.

All in all, it was just a few minutes of investment into the living soul of a precious little one.

Matthew 19:14, records how “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’”

Article Written by: Debbie Harper, Ph.D.