Posted by: pmarkrobb | November 14, 2016

the loving defiance of a young girl

One of the thrilling parts of living in the Spirit is the incredibly unexpected places and times you find deep truth illustrated or revealed.  i had one such encounter a couple of weeks ago while taking a walk in my neighborhood to drop a letter in a corner mailbox.

In beginning my walk, i began to pray.  It was the kind of praying which is enjoyed with eyes wide open, sometimes speaking out loud (and honestly, sometimes feeling a bit self-conscious about who can see me out their front window walking along and talking to myself).  i was praying for my son at college and, at the same time, was caught up in the beauty of a clear, crisp Fall day.  Then, all at once, voices penetrated my moment and i took notice of who i supposed to be a grandmother, hands full with bags and papers, walking on the sidewalk of the street i was approaching, her two very young grandchildren following fairly close behind.  The granddaughter was the oldest by at least a year or so, and looked to be just approaching school age.  She was in charge … of that there was no doubt.  Her younger brother’s head was on a swivel, and the pace at which he walked was the meter of a drum beat that was solely his.  i smiled at the sight of the small troop and slowed my own pace to enjoy every step of their little parade.

The grandmother seemed to be weighed down by more than just the bags and papers that filled her arms.  She moved with purpose; something that was only partially echoed by her granddaughter.  With each step towards their front door, the gap lengthened between the two of them and their precious little caboose.  The grandmother reached the door first and struggled to locate her keys, fumbling around a bit as she tried to unlock it.  My own pace quickened as it seemed as though she had lost focus on her young grandson as he lagged behind and meandered perilously close to the street.

Just then, the granddaughter called out to her grandmother.  She was concerned for her little brother and wanted grandma to know.  As grandma’s attention remained fixed on the door, she seemed unaware of the nature of her granddaughter’s warning.  She became mildly irritated and called out for her grandchildren to come quickly.  Her granddaughter froze and began alternating looks in the direction of her grandmother and her brother — back and forth like a spectator at a tennis match.  i could feel the conflict within this little girl.  She wanted to obey her grandmother, but she also seemed to feel responsible for her little brother’s safety.  The grandmother called out again.  The granddaughter turned and began moving in the direction of her brother.

When there was no audible response to her call, the grandmother finally turned around.  As her hand still fumbled with the lock on the door, she noticed her grandson a good ways back.  Her volume and pitch increased, and she called out to him to come.  With the precious tone of a very young girl, her granddaughter began negotiating with her grandmother.  She wanted to help and protect and began to walk back towards her brother.  The grandmother insisted she come, and her granddaughter responded, “I’m going to get brother.”  Grandma said no, and insisted she come.  Both their intentions were pure, and they were locked in a stalemate.  Grandma insisted again, and then threatened time out if she didn’t obey.  Her granddaughter didn’t answer and, instead, defied the request and continued in the direction of her brother.  Grandma dropped all that was in her hands and quickly reached her grandson, taking his hand gently, but firmly in hers.  There was never any real threat.  In the small amount of time this all took place, a car never passed by.  i never completely stopped and stared, but i also couldn’t take my eyes off their significant and powerful parade.

i had empathy for the grandmother, and was proud of the big sister.  The grandmother’s hands and heart were full, and her granddaughter thought only of her brother, even at the very real risk of punishment.  i rooted for them both.  i wanted the little boy to be safe, first and foremost, but i was rooting for grandma not to lose her cool.  And i was rooting (a bit more) for the persistence of the little girl in protecting her younger brother.  What an amazing thing to witness someone risk personal consequence in putting someone else above themselves … especially one so young and innocent.

As i watched, and over the remainder of my walk, i increasingly saw Jesus in the loving defiance of the big sister.  A Savior who chose to rescue me rather than meet the expectations of a worldly authority.  i was the little boy, and there was not a power or force of nature in this world that was going to keep Him from pursuing and rescuing me.  The certainty of the suffering that waited for Him as a consequence for His defiance would not deter him.  A cup that caused Him to sweat blood as He prayed.  A cup He prayed to be removed from Him, but that He drank from willingly … for you and for me.

Call me crazy for seeing a sacred illustration in such simple circumstances, but the loving defiance of a little girl inspired me that day.  She showed me Jesus.  She reminded me who my Savior is, and challenged my own choices in circumstances that call for loving defiance.  Are the eyes of your heart and life open to see God and His truth in your everyday?  i do not tell this story to draw attention to myself, but rather to the thrill of living your life in Spirit.  Reject the flesh and live in Spirit.

For to set the mind on the flesh is death,
but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Romans 8:6 (ESV)



  1. Truly, Jesus is everywhere!

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