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.
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, but you can still give it to the person you made it for."
"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."
I'm thankful ... regardless of the world's acceptance ... Jesus accepts me.