You know something I really like about you? You know something that makes you truly special? It’s your big heart. Of course you’ve got big muscles, too. Your intelligence is pretty impressive as well — so I guess you could say that you’ve got big brains. But it’s your big heart that really sets you apart, I think.
I see your big heart when you belt out Michael Jackson’s “Liberian Girl” at the top of your lungs. I see your big heart when Flash, the Kent State mascot, leans over to give you a high-five and instead you barrel into him with a big bear-hug. I see your big heart when you charge into the middle of a sand-soccer match with boys twice your age and twice your size, roaring and stamping (yet somehow earning the other boys’ sympathy and respect instead of their annoyance). I see your big heart when we wrestle: tackling, tumbling, grunting, growling, your baby bobcat eyes flashing through the melee. I see your big heart when you pray at bed-time, thanking God for a day of swimming or asking for His help to soothe your brother’s anxiety.
I see your big heart in myriad ways, in myriad situations, and it almost always makes me smile. Your big heart has instructed and enlarged my heart, and for that I will always be grateful.
I love you, Cor William Asp. I’m proud of the six-year-old boy you’ve become. And I look forward to your continued growth and development into a big-hearted man.
My prayer for you is that you will “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and that you will “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:38-39). Isn’t it amazing to think of what you could do with your big heart bent fully to these purposes?!? Look out world! I’m thrilled that you’ve already expressed a childlike willingness to give your heart to God. As long as you keep your heart right there, close to God’s, you’re going to do a great job of following these two greatest commandments. But it won’t always be easy. Sometimes the temptation will be strong to seek the approval of others, more than God (sadly, I know this from personal experience). I expect this tension between pleasing God versus pleasing others will be especially difficult for you, Cor, because you’re naturally quite winsome and charming. Keep your big heart connected with God, though, and He will use you in mighty ways.
God bless you, Cor, in this your 7th year of life. God bless your heart. Happy Birthday, my boy.