Holding on with childlike faith

By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist

Do you live life eagerly and energetically with childlike faith? This story stirred in June 2015 when The Emblers, and a few faithful friends, were packing up the moving truck that would take them to Ocracoke Island and their children were spending the night at my house.

Moving, whether across town or to the other side of the world, is a gigantic undertaking. A task some handle better than others. As for me and my house…we will serve the Lord and hopefully never have to move again. How many readers are nodding in affirmation with understanding hearts? For those who move with ease, hats off to you my friends!

Chris and Rachel were exhausted from packing and continuing to do ministerial work up until the day they were scheduled to move. Moving day came in a busy season when people were scattered doing graduation parties, weddings, June vacations, and help was scarce. Their children were overly excited and exhausted, so I offered to take them home with me for baths and a good night’s sleep. With parental consent and blessings, Asher, Anna, and Simeon buckled up for safety. Then, over the highways and through the stop lights to my house we did go.

Squeals of laughter filled my car with noise that was music to my ears and joy to my heart. Our first adventure together was racing to the mailbox to retrieve my mail. Asher pulled each piece from the box and read the name of the recipient. Anna begged to hold the letters, Simeon asked to play with the little ball, Asher wanted to ride Connor’s bike, and I sat on the swing reading each letter they handed me.

Asher pulled the next letter from the stack and excitedly shared, “It’s for Mr. James”! He handed it to me and watched as I read silently and remembered sweetly past seasons when James would walk to the swing with mail in hand, give me a kiss, and read the mail with me snuggled up as close to him as I could get. While that might seem silly to some, I am so thankful we did love out loud with childlike faith all the days of our lives together. Never take a loved one being with you (even to sit in the swing together) for granted. Seasons together are like ‘ fleeting moments’; seasons when they are gone are long and lonely with ‘hearts being mended and healed’ (Psalm 63) by the Master.

Asher and Anna wanted to see the letter and were drawn to the American flag near the return address that read, “In God We Trust”! Simeon, with childlike faith, asked where Mr. James was? Asher quickly explained that Mr. James was in heaven. Anna concurred. Simeon was only concerned about his golf game as I smiled through tears and told myself this was all happening for a reason. God does promise to mend our wounds and heal our broken hearts, while bringing good from bad according to His plan for our lives. Yet, we must choose to step forward in faith and not cling painfully to the past. The love and laughter of Chris and Rachel’s children seemed to be exactly what I needed in my healing process.

Anna wanted to read the letter to Mr. James. Asher tried (with childlike faith) to tell his sister that Mr. James could not hear her since he was in heaven. Her persistence for Mr. James to get his letter only grew stronger as did Simeon’s pleas to play golf…which sounded like gahfff with true southern twang from a two year old. All of us were tired, emotions were rising like the tide at Ocracoke where they would be living, and pieces of my hurting heart cried silently for help. A fierce but friendly brother – sister confrontation was about to happen with Anna insisting Mr. James would get his letter if the angels took it to him. Asher agreed but Simeon could only say, “let’s play golf!” And I just wanted us to get baths and some sleep. Yet, God had other plans and carried them out through the child like faith of three little ones I love like my own.

We all settled down on the swing with Simeon in my lap. I told them how much Mr. James loved them, told them his address now is heaven where he is so happy, and shared how God’s angels would help us with James’ letter. We had a wonderful time sharing about the love of Jesus and James.

Then, Anna suggested we take the letter and put it by the arbor beside the wheelbarrow of flowers (which James loved) and his picture. The foot marker with his picture came from his grave at Baptist Chapel Church. I placed it near the golf course where he loved to spend time. So, Asher carried a golf club, Simeon a golffff ball, Anna the letter, and we walked through the little path that led to the arbor James brought to our house from his when we were married. They placed it beside the marker and put the ceramic angel on top to make sure it was in safe keeping. The four of us kneeled and prayed. Asher and Anna prayed for the angels to come and read Mr. James his letter while I praised God for the beauty and blessings of child like faith.

Then, we played golf, took baths, read a book, kneeled beside my bed to pray, said good night, and slept like babies. It took me quite a while to fall asleep that night. Watching them sleep and recounting the experience of James’ letter and their appeal for angels to deliver the message to heaven. I felt heaven came down and glory filled my heart from the One who has my name (and yours) engraved on the palm of my hand (and yours)! He loves all HIs little children and promises to take care of us like He does the sparrows. And He does!

The next morning, we raced downstairs after dressing and headed to the backyard. Asher got to the arbor first and shouted, ‘it’s still here’!

Searching for the right words, I waited to speak while Anna took the letter and screamed with delight. “The angels did come. The letter is opened and they read it to Mr. James and left it here for you, Ms. Becky.”

Asher agreed, Simeon nodded his head up and down with his sheepish grin, still grasping the ball he hit in the hole the night before, and I stood speechless with sunlight streaming through the trees and tears trickling down my cheeks. I pulled the children close to me and declared my love for them and for Jesus, thanking Him for sending the angels who watch over us and help us in our times of need. They were filled with excited news to tell about the angels and playing golf.

Walking back to our house, I held the letter in my hand with awe and reverence for the God experience with three little children and angels in my backyard. I read James Earl Vann and the address… where we shared two wonderful years together. Reading the return address, I focused on the powerful message relevant ‘for such a time as this’!

The letter was from an insurance agency. Above the name and address was an American flag with words that proclaim the foundation of America the beautiful, flowing with milk and honey, grounded in Christian faith, our home on this earth… “In God We Trust”!

And I pondered in my heart… Do we believe there are angels among us? Does God see us as nation that trusts in Him? Do we live life daily with childlike faith? Do we love Jesus this we know?

Oh how He loves us…What is our answer to Him?


By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.

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