"Mommy look! We're friends!" 2-year old Joy calls to me with sparkling eyes that ignite anticipation in the onlooking siblings, as she marvels at a simple interaction with her brother.
Dressed to the nines, with a fluffy, pink polkadot skirt and a pink shirt that paired with her head, completes a gingerbread girl, she stands on the couch with Stevie, arms out in anticipation of holding his hands and twirling a round of "ring around the rosies".
He reaches for her and her eyes widen so large they overtake her tiny body. She loves her big brother with a big-love.
"We're friends!" the beautiful words ring in my ears. I feel it clear to my feet. My heart leaps high and then rushes forth creating an ocean mixed with the vibrant colors of excitement, love, and pride.
Stevie has his first friend, someone who follows him around, chases him, imitates him, desires to hang out with him, and absolutely adores him. She talks about him in her sleep and can't wait for him to come home from school.
When Stevie enters the house, the first thing he does is shed his clothing. One piece at a time they fall behind him as he walks toward his room. As if on cue, Joy traces his steps and scrunches up his pants on her tiny legs. She puts his big-kid shoes on her toddler feet; his shirt on her body like a casual dress. She puts on every bit of "Stevie droppings" that she can and looks up at us with pride.
She wants to be just like him.
Even though he doesn't give her much attention, it doesn't slow her down. When he shifts his attention toward her, she feels prized and it spurs her on.
Joy loves Stevie to pieces. She knows it is an honor when he breaks from his script to include her in it, or better yet, when he takes her up on the offer to let him into her world.
She loves him, and everything about him. Her curiosity about him drives her to push his buttons in effort to engage with him, and she gets farther than the rest of us.
Being absolutely adored, is something that Stevie is soaking up; he seems to enjoy it in his hard-to-get ways.
What a great reminder of God's absolute adoration of us, and his desire for us to adore him in return. He pushes our buttons to stretch us, and he may irritate us to engage us. He will go to extremes to get to know us, just like Joy does with Stevie. He has great pride in us imitating Him, and following Him around--going where He goes.
John 15:14-16 You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last--and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
A final thought: Many times I have wondered if Stevie will ever make a real friend--as in having a back and forth relationship where both people enjoy each others company. Little did I know his first true friend would be living in the same house. The best of friends: siblings. God always provides.