Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lucia On A Saturday Morning

It is early in the morning.
Almost time to wake up Lucia.

She lies on the pillow
with her soft gentle eyes
closed in sleep,
and her cheeky face
reflecting light from the window,
and her fingers,
still long and lovely
like they were on the day she was born,
clutching a stuffed panda.

She is 11 years old, and she is a girl:
sweet and innocent,
moody and full of complaints,
sometimes stubborn,
generous with her affection,
the "little mother" to her youngest sister,
loves to read,
loves the quiet places,
shy before strangers,
reserved at home
and then suddenly blossoming
with humor and laughter,
wit and performance:
she is the dramatic actress,
she is the comedian,
or she is just
the most excited child in the house.

So now I look at her sleeping,
I look at her and I love her
as her father.
I see the baby who I watched come forth from the womb.
I see like a flash all the fears and excitement
and joys and laughter and weepiness of a child,
who stands on the threshold of becoming a young woman.

I love this girl.
Will anyone else ever look at her
with the tenderness that is in my heart?
She will be a woman
and many will look at her.
Some will covet her.
Some will envy her.
I wish that I could give them
a few drops of the tenderness of my fatherly eyes.
I wish that they all might look upon her
and hold within their hearts the innocence
and beauty
that I cherish,
and foster,
and--weak as I am--would defend like a champion.

There is one, I pray, who will see in her
things that I have not imagined,
and that I can never know.
For she has within herself a gift that only he can receive.
I know this gift; I stand outside its walls,
I am responsible for what is within
but it does not belong to me.
I do not begrudge him this precious inward place,
that is the heart and soul of my daughter
because I know that I must give her away.

Indeed there is One who already sees her fully,
and I pray that He will take her for Himself,
or else call some other one
to be the image and the vessel
of His enduring love.

My dear Lucia, it is time to wake up.