When I spend time with Mary Holland, I like to talk to her and tell her about my hopes and dreams for her when she grows up. She always smiles at me and makes cute noises, which I am, of course, interpreting as full understanding and agreement with my plans. We also “talk” about God and the relationship I hope she has with God. Again, Mary Holland smiles and responds in her little language of squeaks which I take as “yes, Dad, sounds good!”

One of the things I have been telling her lately is that because we love her, her mom and I will always have her best interests at heart and that she can trust us. And when I think about how much I want her to trust me with her fears, her secrets, her big ideas, her scraped knees, her future and all of the other pieces that make up her life, I understand that God wants us to trust God that way too.

Katie and I will guide her, encourage her, stand up for her, protect her and comfort her. We know how to do these things because we are patterning our love for Mary Holland after God’s love for us. And it is our hope that our sacrificial love will inspire trust in us, just as God’s sacrificial love in Jesus inspires our trust in God.