“Mom,” my seven-year-old began, “someone called me weird.”
The most precious pieces of my daughter’s heart fly gumptiously out of her mouth during our four weekly commutes to her dance studio. While the surge of adrenaline lingers alongside the remains of stale french fries and the screech of singing cats, she reveals the day’s truth. This day was no different. She flung her bag into the abyss of the backseat, and plopped down to catch her breath.
“Who called you weird?” I demanded.
“And Why- why did they call you that …what where you doing …when did this happen …what was your reaction…”
My mind raced alongside my blood pressure as only a mother’s does when
the over-allotted amount of caffeine consumed that day collides with her baby enduring an injustice. In anticipation of my overprotective reaction, and predictable “turn the other cheek and be kind” lesson, she followed a quick eye-roll with profound summation beyond her years.
“I am a little weird,” she continued, “but I take it as a compliment.” I reached for the dial to turn down the “Jingle Cats.”
“What they actually mean to say is that I’m different,” she spat confidently. She lit a flattered smile and revealed, “They are actually complimenting me for being unique…and I like that.”
To think, how I might have ruined that beautiful piece of the Holy Spirit’s work with the volume of my two-sense and overprotective assault on her behalf. I felt God’s grace quicken in my heart …
“See …you’re not doing nearly as bad as you think.” Wink.
The ability to maneuver the insult maze with enough agility to cast a hateful one aside is not where my natural thought progression leads me. Instead of making light of a brooding sentiment, I park the dagger at the forefront of my thoughts. Predictably, that fraction of negativity will seap into my brain via osmosis …become a truth I entertain, and argue with for the rest of the day. Jealous of my own daughter’s Christ-like attitude, God plucked me from my comparative seething and pulled up a memory from a week prior.
The memory’s light stirred my eyes back to the pages of my journal to a school day that ended in tear-stained cheeks over a recess battle of heart lost. Ah, second grade …when blurred lines so easily pull ugly pieces out of little girls’ hearts.
“It’s only going to get worse,” I explained in the best way I knew to
comfort her, “so you just have to figure out how not to let it affect you.” (Confession …I often have these moments of brilliance when trying to instill wisdom upon my daughters …and then realize as the words leave my lips that I have yet to figure out how to apply them to my own life.)
My daughter and I share a gift to illuminate the love of Jesus in each others circumstances. It’s through my earnest search of God’s Word, to be the mother than leads her to Him and His truth, that I end up stumbling upon my own in our sweet bedtime conversations.
“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30
“I am with you in all that you do. At home, at school, on the playground…my Presence is always with you.“Jesus Calling 365 Devotions for Kids, Sarah Young.
It’s not uncommon for us to look up at each other jaw-dropped after we read her devo for the day. That night concluded with a peaceful dream etched on my heart. God’s Word tuned us back into alignment with His measure of our self-worth.
“It’s like God knows how many Legos I have …like He knows how many hairs are on my head,” And at that, we fell into a pile of giggles.
“Jesus and His message were rejected… In His own Hometown. Jesus was fully man and experienced human emotions. The people who had known Him since childhood rejected Him. Friend, it’s wonderful to have a Savior who knows exactly how we feel. There isn’t an emotion we experience He can’t understand.” Wendy Pope (First 5)
The babe born in a manger, grew up feeling the same aches and joys that inhabit our hearts. It’s easier to hold Jesus’ hand in secret comfort, than to face an all knowing and omnipresent God with our grievances. Christmas encompasses the great generosity of the gift of approach-ability through His Son…a love every parent can relate to …a sacrifice no one can.
The sweet smiling compassion that will sit on the level of my child’s bed and laugh with us. That is what Christmas is all about; giving generously as He gave to us. During Advent, we prepare our hearts so that there is room for the light, love, and encouragement He speaks to us in His Word.
Jesus was “the” weird one. He knew it. He embraced it. He knew what they did not… And perhaps not all that walked in His lifetime meant it as a compliment, but he wore it as one. His recorded conversations in the Word reveal humorous quips alongside wise convictions. He lived among us to save us, not so that we would spend every day drowning in self-deprecation. Kermit the Frog sang, “It’s not easy being green,” but can you imagine him being any other color?
“I take being called weird as a compliment.”
A second grader’s vocabulary is still a little limited…maybe they just can’t find the word to describe how awesome my daughter is. Or, perhaps there isn’t one. Maybe the only one that fits her perfectly is…Brianne.
There’s only One who knows who we really are …and His name is Jesus. Emmanuel …”God with us.”
“Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14