I’m been thinking just lately about how super proud of my boys I am. The larakins are now aged 6, 10 and 14, and before you utter a wee groan and think this is going to become a bragging post, hold on a ‘mo. It ain’t. While I’m seeing more and more signs of who my boys really are, I know I have a whole heap still to learn and experience as the years go by, and I know there are many ups and downs to come.But at the moment, I’m very grateful for these glimpses of them that bring me much joy.
I think that when children are small, it’s the things they do that make us proud. The first time they crawl. The first attempt at walking. The first word. The first book they read aloud. We ooh and we aah over their milestones reached and achievements made, but as they get older, it’s the things that reveal their character that really make us clap and cheer.
I’ve been thinking lately that as an adult it is really easy to go through life and loose sight of the things in us that actually bring joy to others. I wonder if we fail to recognize glimpses of our character that are revealed by our actions, because our focus is often on what we’re not doing right? What we could do better at. What we’re not achieving.
I thought I was a fairly confident person until just recently when I sat back in a certain situation and realized just how intimated I felt and was actually counting up the number of things I was sucking at.
Something in me makes me think that maybe I’m not the only one in the world who does this, and I needed this little reminder; in the same way that it makes my heart burst when I see evidence of good hearts in my boys, I think our creator, my Lord, is just watching and happily bursting with pride as He takes in all that we do, and more importantly all that we are.
These lyrics from a song by Matthew West are so powerful, and they really sum things up for me:
When you see broken beyond repair
I see healing beyond belief
When you see too far gone
I see one step away from home
When you see nothing but damaged goods
I see something good in the making
I’m not finished yet
When you see wounded, I see mended
I look at things I do/say/ am, and I’m tempted to think ‘stuffed up there’. But God doesn’t. You see he’s not finished with us yet, and He does see healing beyond belief. He does see something good in the making. We are works in progress – His works in progress.
Our children bring us great joy, and I think we could all do well to live with the reminder that we actually do bring great joy to God.
I made a cake for a friend this week, and because I can see many ways in which this person adds value to others and is amazingly multi-talented, I decided to go with a ‘Mr Incredible’ theme for the cake. ‘Happy Birthday Mr Incredible’. I just googled the root word for ‘incredible’, and it is the latin word ‘credere’ – to believe. So to be incredible, is to be unbelievable, and to be incredible is also to be out of the ordinary.
When we live in a such a way that our lives display the work of Christ in and through us, we are being incredible. We are being out of the ordinary. And this out of the ordinary business – it actually shines a massive spotlight on God’s goodness. It shows what He is capable of. It highlights His creativity. His power to transform.
Sometimes we forget that some out of those seemingly ordinary things we do, actually can speak very loud and wide to others around us.
My friends that repeatedly open up their hearts and their homes to foster children.
Another friend whose faith remains strong and steadfast, in the face of a lot of uncertainty surrounding her.
The customer who takes the time to actually look at the person serving them, and to inquire about their day with genuine interest.
The quick text someone sends to a friend, to show they are thinking of them, they care about whatever it is that is going on in their world.
When our inner world, dictates whatever it is that we do in our outer world, that could possibly build others up, that shows a speckle of love or hope or compassion, that’s simply out of the ordinary. Because, let’s face it, by nature we’re all pretty selfish beasts. And by nature our worlds can become pretty small and pretty insular.
So, at the risk of sounding really corny, heck I’ll go there anywhere, I know I’m so proud of my people, all over the world, who are just doing the stuff. All the stuff. Whatever it is they think they are called to do, going out and loving more and loving deeper and loving fiercer. And I reckon that our God is even more proud. Maybe we could do well to remember this thought when we are tempted to focus on all we’re not doing well.
Our God is so proud of us. I really do believe that He’s the most proud parent of all.