I caught my daughter’s eye during church and winked at her. She smiled and kept singing and clapping. A moment later I caught her eye once again and smiled at her. She smiled back once again. Then, after a few moments, I looked her way and gave her the “I love you” sign with my fingers. She waved back to me. It was a simple exchange, a few moments unnoticed by others, but moments I will remember.
Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking. I should have been paying attention to the songs, to worship, to praise. But trust me when I tell you – I praised with greater fervency and vigor after that brief exchange with my seven year old girl. Let me tell you why.
It wasn’t just her smiling back at me, it wasn’t the fact that she kept looking at me to see if I was looking at her. The moment was precious and lasting because we were both there – a dad and a daughter singing praise to our Savior and enjoying it together. She probably doesn’t realize why I was smiling at her to begin with. I smiled as I saw her reading the words on the screen and joining with the saints in singing. I smiled as she began to clap (a little offbeat) and as her eyes scanned the worship leader, the band, then over to me. My heart soared because there she was – my little girl – singing about the glories of God. My girl was learning to praise her Maker, to sing to Him and about Him in concert with the saints. There is no greater joy for a Christian father than the joy of seeing his children serve their Savior.
Does my little girl understand everything she sings about? Certainly not. But she understands a lot and she is learning more daily. She learns as she watches worshipping adults, as she watches her mother and I, and as she imitates us. By the way, imitation is a powerful tool in the education process. If my daughter wasn’t in the proximity of adults worshipping together, listening to the preached Word together, encouraging and praying for one another, then her education would be stunted.
I smiled at her that morning in church just because she was there. She was there and she was learning, she was learning to worship, learning to praise, learning by watching, learning by doing. Watching her sing praises made my heart soar. I winked at her and she smiled back at me; this tuned my heart to the work of God in the life of my children. He is at work all the time.
I winked; He worked. He is worthy to be praised.