It happens every Friday at 3:15 pm, fifteen minutes before the school bus arrives.
Every Friday without fail.
I wouldn’t miss this date for the world.
Every Friday around 3:10 pm I grab my six foot by six foot orange striped blanket/towel. I walk out my front door and turn left and ease my way past four houses and at the fifth house I spread out my soft blanket and lay it on the coarse St. Augustine grass. I lay down on the towel and prop myself up on my left elbow and wait.
I don’t have to wait long before the front door of the fifth house opens up and here comes Levi. On his left shoulder he carries an insulated soft sided cooler that contains four very important items. One twelve ounce can of Coke. One seven and a half ounce can of Coke. Two small bags of Trail Mix.
We open up the bag and a surprise look flashes across my face every Friday, “Look at what your mom packed for us! Two Cokes and two bags of Trail Mix! Wow!” Levi’s face lights up like a Christmas tree. I pull out two miniature red solo cups and pour Coke into them. We raise our glasses and click them together and proudly say, “Cheers!” Levi’s pronunciation is more like “Tweers.”
And so begins my wonderful, weekly, warm Four Year Old Date…
This past Friday I asked Levi what he was going to do on Saturday. His answer was quick and decisive. “I don’t get to spend time with you on Saturdays. Only on Fridays.”
This is true. Only on Fridays do we get to laugh on the lawn and chug our Cokes.
I spoke to Levi’s mom about this and her eyes became as big and round as saucers. “Every day Levi wakes up and asks what day it is. When I tell him that it is not Friday, he immediately flops back down on the bed. But when I do tell him that it is Friday, he straightens right up, jumps out of bed and gets dressed right away and all day long he asks, ‘Is it time yet? Is it time to go outside and see David?'”
The anticipation is almost more than Levi can take. The front door on Fridays opens up and Levi almost rushes as fast as he can so that he can sit down on the orange striped blanket, look me in the eye and have our fifteen minutes together alone before the bus arrives and a slew of the neighborhood kids come bounding off.
It has become a ritual, a rite of passage and a holy time for a four year old and a fifty-one year old to come together and share a snack and a Coke together.
Of the two of us, the fifty-one year old and the four year old, which one of us represents Jesus the most? What would you say?
I believe you have guessed correctly.
Levi, the four year old best represents Jesus in my eyes on this weekly encounter.
In reality it’s Jesus who waits all day, every day to meet us face to face.
Jesus can’t wait to hear the sound of our voice.
Jesus can’t wait to be in our presence.
Jesus can’t wait to gaze lovingly into our eyes.
Jesus can’t wait to raise a cup with us and shout, “Cheers!”
Jesus can’t wait to lay down on our blanket and just shoot the breeze.
Jesus can’t wait to listen to our heart of hearts.
Jesus drives the angels crazy in heaven as he asks over and over, “Is today the day that I get to talk to one of my children?”
And so it is… Levi the four year old is Jesus to me and I, David Dendy, the fifty-one year old preacher is the child.
It’s amazing what spiritual truths I have learned on “My Four Year Old Date…”
Thank you Levi!
“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus – (Matthew 19. 14 ESV)
Laugh often and Fear not!