Thursday, March 21, 2013

When You Need Acceptance ...

It's evening, the sun is slowly sinking behind storm clouds.I'm at the kitchen sink, washing potatoes and preparing supper for my family. Water is boiling on the stove. The rest of the house is unusually quiet.

Kregg hits at the kitchen table, head bent over a white sheet of paper. One side is colored with sunshine and flowers. Crayons scattered across the table. Now, he's working on the other side ... the side with a special note to a special person in his life.

"Mama, how do you spell valtine?" Kregg runs his tongue over small lips. This is his determined face. Brows knit in concentration.

"V.A.L.E.N.T.I.N.E", I keep smooth motion, peeling potatoes and spell it slowly so that his small fingers can keep up with my reciting.

"What? Are you sure?" A look of shock and something close to frustration.

"Yes, Kregg, I'm sure." I turn from the sink, cold water running over my hands as I look back toward the kitchen table where he's been working on this project.

Kregg puts down the blue pen and walks away. I leave the sink, drying my hands on a dishtowel. I pick up the picture and read it. Kregg wrote the words before asking me how to spell them. And ... he made a mistake. The problem, it's in ink. He can't erase it or correct it. I turn the page over and look at the picture he spent so much time planning, coloring. It's beautiful, straight from his imagination. For him, all things are big and bright.

"Kregg, come sit with me." I call to him. He's somewhere hiding disappointment.

He comes slowly and sits. Tears sitting just at the edge of his eyes. Bites his lip. "It's ruined. I can't give her that!"

We talk about the person he planned to give this special picture. The front is beautiful, the back is a special message ... spelling mistakes or not. I know she would love it and probably wouldn't even mention the misspelled word. She would hang it proudly for everyone to see and brag about the special 8 year old boy who gave it to her. But, for Kregg, he's afraid of ... acceptance. This is his weakness. He wants to know he's loved, accepted ... just the way he is.

We clear the table together and eat supper as a family. Pajamas are pulled on over freshly showered little boys. And, I'm in my room putting away laundry.

"Mama?" Kregg calls from the threshold of my room.

"Yes, baby." I look up from my dresser drawers. Kregg is at my door with the picture, tears streaming down his little cheeks. I go to him and hold him.

"Mama, will you take this?" He holds it up to me.

"Yes, but you can still give it to the person you made it for."

"No, I want you to have it. I know you don't care if I spelled stuff wrong."

"Yes, Kregg, I will take it and hang it in my office. It's beautiful and when I see it, I will think of my beautiful boy."

He runs off to bed. I lean against my bed and the tears he cried before are now in my eyes. Kregg trusts me. He feels ... safe with me. Regardless of any mistakes he might make, he knows in his heart that I will see the beauty and good in him. In each of my boys.

That is exactly  how Jesus loves me. Sometimes, I feel like I have to hide my flaws from people. Like somehow those flaws will keep people from wanting to know me ... the real me. Flaws and all. I want acceptance as much as my little boy.

I'm thankful ... regardless of the world's acceptance ... Jesus accepts me.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

No comments:

Post a Comment