Kevin loved and lost his precious wife Kara five years ago, but another precious gift remained in the form of a beautiful young girl named Abigail. Kevin watched her at play. Her long brown hair flew in the wind as she raced across the yard. Her beautiful brown eyes sparkled like stars as she laughed and twirled. His eyes filled with tears as she laughed like Kara. Kara had chosen the name Abigail because it means “source of joy.” Abigail was Kevin’s joy. He continued gazing at the most beautiful person left in the world to him. He wished this moment could last forever; she was so precious.
The loss of Kara caused Kevin to grow even closer to the real Source of Comfort. Whenever the pain of her loss overwhelmed him, he would read the Psalms and sing hymns. He asked God to help him embrace each day as a gift and to bring joy into Abigail’s life. He had few material possessions to offer her. He sought for a way to teach Abigail about happiness even though he endured the pain of loss and battled for joy in his own life. He concluded that happiness comes from a heart focused on serving others. How could he communicate this to his young daughter?
One Saturday morning, he called Abigail to him. “You are precious to me, and I love you very much. I have a special secret to share with you. Life is a gift from God. We do not know how long we will possess this gift. Today, tell someone that you love how precious he or she is to you. This will make both you and that special someone happy. It will be our secret way to encourage others.” He embraced his young daughter and watched her skip outside to play. That night at dinner he asked her about their secret. With whom had she spoken her words of encouragement?
With a smile Abigail replied, “I have been saving all my special, secret words for you! You take good care of me. You love me when I am good and when I am naughty. You are the best dad. I love you!” Kevin’s heart was filled with joy.
On Monday morning, Kevin called for Abigail again. “Come, sit on my lap. Let me give you a big hug. You deserve a million kisses for being the sweetest daughter ever. Now, I want to share another secret with you. It is important to use actions to show others how we feel about them. Life is a gift from God. We do not know how long we will possess this precious gift. Show love today through your actions. Be sure to include a big hug. This will make someone feel very special.”
He watched his young daughter finish her breakfast. Just thinking about their secret made them smile at each other. The day went quickly. When they returned home, Abigail hurried into the house ahead of him. She helped him set the table and prepare the food. She sang funny songs, and they both laughed. She held his hand at dinner and gave him many special smiles. At the end of the meal, he asked her about their “secret.”
“Why, Daddy! All this time during dinner I used my actions to show you how much I love you. You are precious.” And she ended with a big hug. Again Kevin was overjoyed by his daughter’s response.
As the next Saturday morning dawned, Kevin and Abigail shared timed together in God’s Word and prayer. They discussed their secrets to happiness.
“Words and actions demonstrate love. We possess another special gift that is a key to happiness. That gift is our time. Life is a gift from God. We do not know how long we will possess this precious gift. We show how much we care when we spend our time with others.”
Kevin and Abigail gave and received hugs and kisses. They said “I love you” many times. Kevin went out to work in the yard. Abigail seemed to make a game out of following her dad around. She was truly his shadow. She never said much – she was trying not to bother him – but she shared special smiles and blew kisses whenever he glanced her way. At lunch, they enjoyed each other’s company. The day flew by. Before bed, Kevin remembered their secret.
“Let me guess about our secret today. You gave me a precious gift. You gave me your time. You could have played inside or with your friends, but you spent your time with me.”
“Daddy, you and God are all I have. I want to share my secrets of happiness with you.”
Kevin realized that sharing the secrets of happiness with Abigail brought great joy to him also. For these “secrets” – words, actions, and time – are not difficult or costly. However, we must be consistent in sharing these secrets with others. When we give abundantly of ourselves, we discover the secret that serving and giving to others brings tremendous happiness to our own lives. Kevin and Abigail knelt in prayer with grateful hearts to their Heavenly Father.
“Thank you for loving us. Teach us your will. Lead us in life. Open our eyes to truth. Guide our minds and hearts to service. Give us true joy and happiness in knowing you.” Kevin and Abigail smiled. Their hearts overflowed with happiness!
“Daddy, let’s blow kisses to God.” And they did.
Written by Priscilla Ahrens. This article was published in the Spring 2009 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine.
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