Friends of our came to visit at Easter time with their two sons just a little older than her, and they had flip flops. SO cool to her little girl eyes. Ever since, she's been asking about them, trying to understand what made flip flops different from other shoes, examining my shoe rack to see if I had any. When we were setting up for VBS at church on Saturday, she met a teen-ager with flip flops and got to try hers on. She told us they were on sale at Old Navy, 2 for $5.
You guessed it. We stopped at Old Navy on the way home and bought her not one, but THREE, pairs of flip flops. And she is over the moon. She has worn her flip flops everywhere she could since then, and even chose to nap on the floor to keep them on, since she doesn't wear shoes in bed.
We almost didn't stop for them. After all, she doesn't "need" flip flops. They're not "good" for her, like well-supported sneakers. But seeing her eyes light up at the thought of these longed-for big-girl shoes did me in.
I love to see my daughter smile.
And it makes me think of God, who loves his children more than I love my little girl. Who delights in giving "good gifts to those who ask him" (Matt. 7:12). Sometimes I hesitate to ask for things that I consider "silly" - the unnecessary, the extravagant. Things that aren't very "spiritual." Even things like more children. Another baby. I don’t “need” one; I should be satisfied with the child I have. I can analyze my desires to death before I utter a word in prayer. Sometimes I do it to make sure that my prayers are pleasing to God, but also in self-defense, to avoid unnecessary disappointment - after all, if I don't ask, he can't say no.
But I think what pleases God is also the asking. No, he doesn't want us to be selfish or have a "gimme" attitude. But heartfelt prayers please him. The looking of a child to her father to provide, trusting that if fulfilling that desire is not good, then that's okay.
But then, sometimes, God gives us those “frivolous” desires because he can. And because he wants to bless us and he "richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Tim. 6:17).
And, I think, because he loves us, and He loves to see his children smile.