for Meaghan, on your birthday.
You will not remember the day I first held you but I shall never forget it. I walked down the hall with my eyes fixed on you. I could not tell you now what color the floor was nor what paintings hung on the walls because I only had eyes for you.
I remember tucking you into the car seat to take you home. I remember bundling you up in a large towel in Portugal to keep you warm after your bath. I remember rushing you to the hospital in Barcelona. I ran barefoot through the streets. The Catalans thought I was crazy, no doubt.
I remember our wrestling matches in Amsterdam and taking you to the dentist on furlough.
I remember enjoying the snow in Madrid, and hearing God speak to me through you when you told me one day: “I love our church! I have lots of friends here.” I had been wrestling with doubt and discouragement. You could not have known how your words washed over me like a warm ray of sunshine.
I remember giving you a cross when you confessed Jesus as Lord. I remember beaming with pride how you shared with others about your own journey with Jesus and I remember baptizing you.
I remember picking you up at the airport last summer and looking at a picture of you this fall: you are a young woman now. Today, you are sixteen. I don’t want to remember that I am here, two time zones away from you. I hold you in my heart right now, like I held you in my eyes the day you were born.
And there’s this: the other day you said something that reminded me you are your own, strong person. It was a memory you held.
And I had forgotten.
So I just want to spend the rest of my life learning what you remember. What matters to you matters to me.
My prayer is that I will listen well to you and let your life speak to me—for it already has.