Chronicles of Sadie

Crying Out for “Dadt” (with audio clip)

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One cannot underestimate the influence words have on our lives and on our culture at large. Without a key few words, jobs are not accepted, fast food orders are never filled, and marriage proposals do not exist. You can wish for it. Hope for it. Dream about it. Plan the moment. But at the end of day, if the words “will you marry me” never surface, neither will a wedding.

With the arrival of little Sadie Bell in our home, words took on a whole new life of their own. As I’ve already written, I didn’t wait for actual words to surface before I allowed Sadie to begin speaking. I spoke on her behalf in a silly voice she no doubt appreciated. However, I’ve had to face the fact—even look forward to it—that the day is fast approaching when she will no longer need my assistance in speaking. In fact, I may be the one who needs assistance if this child is half as verbal as her parents. She has been extremely verbal from the get-go, she simply has yet to move on from Klingon to English—thus, without my translations, her brilliance would come off as nothing but babbling.

I will never forget when her first “real” words came. I take no great pleasure (yeah right) in telling you that the first intelligible syllables that surfaced from her delicate little lips were, “Da Da.” Well, actually they were really more like “Dadt.” The “t” was very pronounced and quite humorous. I even captured the audio for your enjoyment. Listen away and note the brilliant dialect. Simply click on the following link and the file should open in Quicktime or your Media Player.

Sadie Saying Dadt

Now I’ve got to tell you. I still smile—even laugh out loud every time I hear her say “Dadt” on this recording. If I’m being honest, I usually tear up a bit too. Why? Because my little girl—the most precious little one in the world to me—is calling my name the best way she knows how.

Consider with me the future. Unfortunately, the day is fast approaching (the fast part is the unfortunate part) when Sadie will no longer speak to me using only one syllable words. As a youth pastor, I am well-versed in the vernacular of adolescents and I observe them making requests and remarks with their own parents on a daily basis. There are some “darling” girls out there who simply have to smile and say “Daddy” before their helpless fathers open up their wallets and begin dishing out any and all funds that may have resided there previously. Such is my future. I’m aware.

Yet in all seriousness, Sadie will also be able to verbalize many other things. These days, crying and just a handful of simple words are the extent of her communication. As parents, you somewhat learn to distinguish between the sounds… like a trained baby-whisperer. We can usually tell when she’s tired or hungry, even though she can’t verbalize these specific needs. When the diaper is dirty, no words are needed—gagging does the trick. But a day is coming when her needs will be expressed by her own words.

Knowing that day is coming, I’ve become aware of a key truth. Even though Sadie will become more adept at expressing herself verbally, I will never be more desirous to respond to her as I am right now. Don’t get me wrong, I will never be any less either. I’m simply stating that at any state, any expression from my child produces action. My heart moves as much for “Dadt” as it will for “Daddy, can I borrow the keys to the car?” Oooh, I just got shivers.

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Such is also true of the heavenly Father. Scripture tells us that, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13 NLT). Note that this passage never says we must know exactly what we’re asking for in order to receive what we need. It doesn’t say, “Whoever can remember every single last sin that they’ve ever committed and recount them in detail to God, in addition to fully understanding and expressing to God all that he is and means to them in life on this earth and beyond will be saved.” Nope. The heart of the Father responds to the simple crying out of his name. If you’re like me, sometimes I just need to shut up with all of my wordiness and just cry out, “Dadt!” The Father knows infinitely better than I do exactly what I need and he will respond accordingly.

Keep this idea in its context. I’m not saying that every prayer should be this simplistic or that we should not spend time in deep conversation with God, expressing our worship and making our needs known. All of this is biblical. What I’m saying is that God is not an ATM machine waiting for us to punch in the right code of words in order to withdraw the help we need.

Sometimes just calling out his name is enough. I know it’s enough for my little girl.

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