My little daughter recently had a sinus infection that caused one of her eyes to swell shut. (This happened over Christmas. Of course it did.) The doctor prescribed medicinal eye drops, which we were to apply to her little eyes several times a day. I don’t know if it’s easier to rope a calf than to apply eye drops to a squirmy toddler, but I’m certain it’s more pleasant for both cowboy and calf. After dropping the clear little drops in her hair and her ears and her mouth and her nose, we decided on a different tack: bribery. “If you let me put the eyedrops in your eyes, we’ll give you some ‘choca”’. (“Choca” being her word for chocolate.) It worked. A drop was equal to a chocolate chip, and soon several times a day we were being asked for “I-jops” and “chocas”, and dispensing a fair quantity of both.
And then her prescription ran its course, the infection went away, and we no longer needed the bribe. However, like many a corrupt Third World bureaucrat, my daughter had become hooked on the hush money, and would silently sidle up to me several times a day, climb into my lap, stick her face in mine, cock her head like a crow, and earnestly ask, “I-jops? Chocas?”
Weak father though I am, I am not about to give her medicine she doesn’t need, and so I’ve been politely turning down her requests. If it were good for her, I’d refill the prescription, but it isn’t and I haven’t.
But you know what? I love it that she asks, and I hope she never stops asking me for things.
Jesus says that if human fathers like me delight in giving to our children, how much more will the one he calls our “Father in heaven” delight in giving to his children.
So, when he says in today’s Gospel reading, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”, I wonder: maybe he really means it.
What do you need to ask for today?
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