Friday, May 30, 2008

That Girl

I will go ahead and confess. The title for this blog post has been ruthlessly ripped-off. I stole it from a song my son-in-law, Joe, wrote about his daughter, Elle. Joe looks like this ...

Ignore the bars in the background. Joe was not in jail. His band, the "Fundamental Elements" were in a battle of the bands before a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium this week. The bars are to keep out the non-paying Customers. Anyway ... If your brain is engaged you will have already figured out that his daughter is my granddaughter. The song is amazing. It will be available in a few weeks on i-tunes. If you like love songs ... especially love songs from a dad to his daughter ... you will want to check this one out. The bands name is the "Fundamental Elements." They already have a cd available but the one with "That Girl" will be out soon.

This blog is not about the song. It's about ... that girl. Elle turned two years old this week and she looks like this ...

Now I ask you. Is that not a face that could conquer continents? (Hint: Go with "Yes.") Elle is an unusual child. I know, I know. I'm suppose to say that. I'm her grandfather. It's a girls birthright for her grandfather to brag about her. To be proud of her. And I am. For all of the usual reasons. But there is one reason that is ... different.

You know what is most remarkable about Elle? She loves me. I mean, it's just that simple. She doesn't ask questions about whether or not I've been good. She has no idea what I do for a living. She doesn't care if my shirt matches my pants. She just loves me. Just because. I can't talk too much in her opinion. She doesn't think I am capable of saying something stupid. She never gives me "the look." She loves to talk to me. She loves to sit with me. When I ask her for a hug she always gives me one. How is it that two little arms can bring so much peace?

You see, my granddaughter is ... is ... well, she's the best granddaughter God ever created. No, I have not met them all. I don't have to. I've met Elle. That's quite enough. I got to spend some time with her this week in between dragging branches to the street at my house that has been empty all to long, trimming bushes, dusting furniture, and doing all of those things you have to do in order to make your house attractive enough for some unknown person to buy it. I spent the nights at Elle's house. We celebrated her birthday in her garage on Memorial Day. (Don't ask.) We ate cake. We played with toys. We read books. And in the middle of all of that Elle did something to me that very few other people can make me do. I simply relaxed. The world went away. There was just "that girl." And that was more than enough.

When I am with Elle I understand a little better what Jesus meant when He said we must become "childlike" in order to inherit the Kingdom of God. We have to love like Elle, without reservation. We have to trust like Elle, knowing that the one in charge is trustworthy. It helps to laugh like Elle. Her laugh makes me laugh. It makes all of the darkness that likes to gather in my heart melt away into pure light. (Yes, I admit it. Elle has her moments. Every now and then she gets crabby. But it's almost always because she's over tired. No, she isn't perfect ... but she's the closest person to it that I have seen in a long, long time.)

Okay, well I just wanted to make certain that you got the opportunity to meet "That Girl." At least you can see her through my eyes. Do yourself a favor. Find yourself an "Elle." There are more of them out there than we realize. And then do what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to build a little bit of "Elle" into my life. I want to be childlike again. I want to remember the simple, the awe inspiring, the trusting. I want to be worthy of The Kingdom.

That Girl


heresthediehl said...

What a sweet post! This is our favorite song on the new CD, too!

One of my favorite pictures of my dad with Luke when he was about 2 years old is of the 2 of them eating together; it's identical to this one of you and Elle.

Kelli said...

shameless plug:

go to & you can listen to "that girl" (on the upper right hand corner)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! I've got nothing to say.



johnsonfamilyof6 said...

She is a cutie-pa-tutie and she clearly has you wrapped around her little finger. Reminds me allot of the way Grandpa was with Kelli and I.