This morning Lexi decided she didn’t want to stay home. At about 8 AM she sat in the middle of my bedroom floor, trying with all her dexterial might to put her sandals on. After trying her best, she looked at me and babbled in an imperative tone, “Dooooo doooo dooo!” When she’s really serious, she repeats herself, “Dooooo doooo dooo!”, getting louder and louder until I do what she’s demanding. I was in no shape to leave the house yet, so I distracted her from her sandal task, hoping she’d forget about it.
Around 9 AM we went downstairs. As we played in the living room, she kept pointing toward the kitchen, desperately trying to communicate, “Dooooo doooo dooo! Dooooo doooo dooo!” I held her hands and let her guide me to the object of her desire: the garage door. When I informed her we would not be going out, she melted into a pile of heart-broken toddler and sobbed on the kitchen floor. I used distraction again to lead her away from the door and toward an indoor activity.
By 10 AM Lexi had found her shoes in the living room and was doing her best to cram her toes in them. Tired of her insistence, I decided a trip to Wal-Mart was in order.
I loaded Lexi up and headed to the gas station first. Lexi sat quietly in her car seat, watching me pump gas. While I was waiting, I began waving and blowing kisses to her, just to keep her mildly entertained during our stop. She smiled and waved back, but she kept cutting her eyes to the pump next to us. Then I heard an old man say, “You have a beautiful baby!” I couldn’t see him because the pump was between us, but I thanked him and laughed. Then the voice continued to talk to me, telling me how happy Lexi seemed, how pretty her smile was, and how good she was being. Then, as is usually the case with older adults we run into, the man started telling me about his grandkids. He said he just couldn’t get enough of them, even though the youngest one was already 12. We ended our conversation, and as we pulled away, I saw him waving to Lexi. I told her to wave back, which she did, and I could see pure joy on the old man’s face.
After we filled up, we went to Wal-Mart for groceries. Lexi enjoys riding in the cart and looking at all the people. She laughs at everyone who passes us, almost always causing them to laugh back. In the check out line, the cashiers wave and talk to her. Lexi grins and laughs back to them.
It seems that almost everywhere we go Lexi engages other people and makes their day a little bit brighter. They can’t help but smile and laugh as she cackles through the aisles, waving her tiny hand. That may be the only time some of these people smile that day. So it seems Lexi is in the business of Laughter Ministry. Maybe I can think of some other ways to use her personality to minister to people during the week, giving them some of God’s love, and maybe even the gospel…