My daughter is awkward. Beautiful but awkward. I know, she is only seven and has just entered second grade. But if you ask anyone who has been around her for any length of time, they will most likely agree. Perhaps the apple does not fall far from the tree. I remember feeling awkward when I was little and trying hard not to be. But I do not even think she notices. The experts say she has a severe case of ADD to the point she struggles to finish sentences. We can see some improvement but a parent will worry.

We worry about friendships. I worry more about her not having any than how well she does at school. On the first day of school she made a friend, Lilly. When she told us, we were skeptical. But then we met her mom and her mom was glad to meet the parents of “Emma R.” I could have taken on the world that day. It’s just one of those things you never expect to have fears about till you are parenting that age.

She is beautiful. And tall. My wife tells me that being tall and female can be hard as she grows older. Her legs stretch from here to Homewood. I assume she will be easy to find in all her class pictures. My hope is since my wife had to deal with the same, my daughter will be cast into her mold.

I say all this because I sat in the library yesterday preparing to teach a Bible Study focused like a laser on our call to love one another. And as I sat there, I watched this one girl walk by. She was not pretty.

She had a severe overbite and walked with a hitch in her step. Her hair was stringy. Attention to what she wore, seemed to be only in the utilitarian sense. Actually, her shirt and jeans were not worn as much as they were placed on her body. She would have had to gain a great deal of weight to fill them. And she carried a Bible. But not a pretty one. No, this was the kind you might see in a pew. The gold lettering betrayed the sacred book had not only been around since the early nineties but it had been used a lot.

Now there is still enough of the mean little boy and hormone-laden teenager to be disappointed in what I saw. But within seconds I thought of my daughter. And my desire for no one to look at her with such disappointment overcame the young boy within. For she was also someone’s daughter. Most likely loved. I imagined a father who longed for her to sit in his lap and laugh and cry like those days which were so long ago and went by so quickly. He probably sees nothing but beauty and love and reasons for affection. He probably has high hopes for her and wants her to know she will be loved regardless of where she ends up.  Her tender kisses upon his whiskered cheek are worth the world though he would trade nothing for them. He is glad she carries a Bible in hand.

If I were more capable there would be some great profound lesson attached to these thoughts. All I know is yesterday not long after I watched this girl pass in front of me, I held in my arms a breathtakingly beautiful newborn girl. It reminded me of my awkward daughter and the spellbinding grip she had on me from day one. And the love. And the wonder. And the fears. And the hopes.

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