The Director of Missions for the Anglican Church Of Kenya, the Revd John Mark Oduor, with a tale of how the faith of a six-year-old girl, helped to grow the faith of her father.
Petronella was the only child of her father Jeremy. He had just tucked her into her bed and as he was about to leave the room she stopped him as she said “Dad, I want to show you something”. The dad stopped and turned around. She jumped out of the bed and climbed on to the study table next to her bed. She was a very active six-year-old.
As she stood straight she told her father to move behind two steps. As he moved he asked her what she wanted to do. She said just move behind two more steps behind. He did. When he was about to ask what she wanted to do, his heart was beating very fast and loudly he could almost feel his heart beating.
“Dad I’m going to jump” before he could even blink she leaped into the air. He moved closer and reached out and grabbed her as she landed in his arms.
He stumbled three steps behind and stopped. He had mixed emotions angry, happy, confused and worried as he held her tight. As he looked for what to say she said loudly. “I knew it, dad, I knew it, Thanks Dad”.
He was more shocked than he was scared. When he composed himself he asked her several questions at the same time. “What did you know, why did you jump. What are you doing?” and many more that didn’t come out of his lips.
She smiled as she looked at his worried eyes and said. “Dad I knew that you would not let me fall down, you’re my Father. I must tell my friends that you are the strongest dad ever. Thanks Dad.”
Suddenly the eyes of the Father watered even more as he saw the faith of his six-year-old daughter in her father than he had in himself.
Another Son in another place, in another century, was locked up in prison waiting for his day; his date with destiny. He had been in prison for some years now and he knew he would not leave that prison alive so he writes to his son in faith. He says: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. I’m ready to go now.”
As Jeremy thought of Petronella’s faith, he remembered Paul’s faith and he asked himself: does he have the faith that could leap into the darkness of life and land in the arms of God his Father without fear? Then he remembered Paul’s word (2 Tim 2:13): “If we are faithless he remains faithful because he cannot disown himself”. And one more verse hit him like a thunderbolt: “I know in whom I believe, I am convinced that he is able to keep that which committed to Him against that day”.
Jeremy smiled as tears came down his chin. He looked at Petronella and said: “thanks baby girl”.
She looked at him rather surprised and asked “for what, Dad?”.
“Teaching me to Jump, teaching me to jump”, he said with a chocking voice. He put her down on her bed tucked her in and then left with tears in his eyes.