There are some people that are easy going. They can float through life, going right over, through and under the waves of life, shaking it off every single time. They are ducks.
Then there are others, who cannot shake it off. They neither float, nor dive, nor shake very easily. In fact, instead of salt water dripping from the tips of their hair, it comes pouring out of their eyes.
My middle son is just such a person. As much as he tries, he cannot float, he cannot stay dry, he is not a duck.
So this past Easter Sunday, in the mad dash to get every exhausted body up and showered and dressed and out the door (Thank the Good Lord our Church provides breakfast!), there were harsh words spoken and feelings hurt. I admit that I myself was a culprit. I could not see the logic in not wearing his brothers outgrown undershirt from Christmas and insisted on no argument. He could not fathom wearing his brother's anything. Agree to disagree.
If it were either of my other boys, they would have begrudgingly conceded and forgotten about the whole thing in 5 minutes. Not my middle son, it had now set the ground work for the remainder of the day. As a result of his unrelenting poor attitude he was grounded from video games for two week. TWO WEEKS, oh, the horror!! (Please note that none of the boys are permitted to play video games during the week, so we are talking about 6 days including Easter and the remaining day of Spring Break, but I digress.)
Fast forward to after church, after he won an awesome skateboard, after he ate a breakfast burrito he loved, after an Easter egg hunt he thoroughly enjoyed, we come home and immediately he was reminded of being grounded from video games. Did I mention the horror. Oh, yes, the horror had sunk in. He lay on his bed weeping.
Weeping because life was unfair, his brothers got to play video games.
Weeping because no one really loved him.
Weeping because no one even cared.
Weeping because no one understood.
Weeping because God never talked to him.
Weeping. Weeping. Weeping.
Since it was Easter and we had a schedule to keep, I went into his room to talk it out with him. I realized fairly quickly that he really just wanted to marinate in his own tears. Part of me wanted to yell "Fine!" and stomp out of the room because I just couldn't waste anymore time on this issue anymore. But part of me was pushed back to him because I understand.
I understand what it is to be lost in my own head; every horrible thought about myself and those around me bouncing around my skull, echoing. Life's not fair. No one loves me. No one cares. No one understands. God never talks to me. When my prayers sound like that God doesn't just yell "Fine!" and stomp off (spiritually speaking, of course.) I'm sure I'm incredibly frustrating to be around in those moments. I mean, I get sick of my own self.
So I waited and reassured him that he is loved. That he is an important part of our family. That God put us all together for a reason. That he is a gift directly from God to me and Dad. That he is a reminder of how much God loves us, to me.
He lifted his head from his tear soaked pillow and said something I will never forget "I'm a gift to you and Dad?" He looked shocked. I immediately felt grateful to be having that conversation and guilty for never having had it before.
"Of course you are gift!"
I then explained that each person is a gift, even if their parents don't appreciate it. That was when it occurred to me. I was a gift.
That is a bizarre thought to have. It is easy to tell your son he is a gift. The truth of that statement runs deeply throughout my being, but to take that truth and apply it to myself was difficult. I wanted to reject it, but I couldn't. It was either true that we were all carefully crafted gifts from the Most High, or none of us were. It's an all or nothing deal.
As I still try to digest this, I encourage you today to consider that you are a gift; a carefully crafted gift from the Most High who loves you deeply.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 139:13-18 (NIV)
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