Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
”Children are who they are. It doesn’t take long before we have convinced them that they are what they wear, or what they do, or what they have, or what they look like. But, if our children are lucky, we convince them early on to resist caricature or illusion.”
Dangerous Wonder, Micheal Yaconelli
There’s a cold wind blowing through the area this morning that even our Basset Hound Lily was anxious to escape after her first quick trip outside for the day. Those cold winds blow through in more ways than we notice—and too often the ones from years ago are still blowing through.
You could feel this one beginning to creep into the air the other night as my son and his five-year-old daughter left for their Girl Scout Daddy-Daughter Dance. And so with a delicate corsage gracing her dainty wrist to highlight a beautiful dress, her Daddy also draped her in a matching overcoat to protect her precious, tiny person from the approach of the penetrating colder temperatures.
The digital pictures taken did their best to capture the moments of their time together. But even the pictures couldn’t capture the gleam in her Daddy’s eye as he painted the picture of Ellie Kate making her way through the crowd at the dance to receive what she described afterwards as the award she and her Daddy won dancing together. It was a door prize—but you can tell her that at your own peril. To her—she and her Daddy won the prize while dancing together.
Isn’t there a powder we can sprinkle on the heads of our children and grandchildren to keep them from growing up? Isn’t there a shelter we can house them in to protect them from the cold winds which blow through their lives?
Oh how I wish it were like that Daddy-Daughter Dance for all children! Where children felt they were the object of love from someone they look to for that love. Where children catch a glimpse of God’s love for them through those entrusted with their care. Where the voices they hear from those close connect them to the quiet voice of a God who is always after them.
Maybe it’s we who need a powder someone can sprinkle over us. Some of us would just need a dash and some of us would need to be covered from head to toe.
A powder to keep all of us as well-meaning caregivers from trying to mold our children into something they’re not. Parents, grandparents and others, who perhaps see through their child a way to be the athlete, successful businessman or woman, politician, whatever, which they never became. Parents who teach their children by their actions and words that they would rather be with others, than with them. Parents who unwittingly or stubbornly subject their child to the same system of “earned love” which they experienced as children—rather than modeling the example of the unmerited love of God.
Parents now, who as children way back when, never felt that unqualified, unmerited grace and love from their parents. Parents now, who as children then, had cold winds of inattention, criticism, disdain, intimidation or abandonment—emotional, physical, psychological—blowing through their lives too early and too often. Children who were never allowed, encouraged or loved by those responsible for them—to be what God had created them to be—to allow them to grow—not necessarily up—but instead into all He had created them to be.
Parents now, who as children then—were never allowed to be the children God intended for them to be. And so now they model for their children—refusing or unable to change—the same cold winds which blew through their lives. And to admit what is happening, or to change, would require an acknowledgement of what they missed—a recognition often too painful to face.
And so our children grow up like too many of us—impersonating someone we’re not. Someone we were not created to be. And no matter how many church services, Sunday school classes or functions we attend, they have trouble hearing any longer the voice of God whispering and calling to them. And so they seek the approval from our voices, and from others’ voices less caring of them. They seek approval through what they do, what they wear, what they have and what they look like—until the still small voice of God becomes silent in their lives.
Maybe there’s a powder.
Maybe our children will be lucky enough to have us encourage them to be who God made them, so that they will begin to hear again that still small voice of God in their lives.
Maybe there’s a powder.
Or maybe there’s a Daddy-Daughter dance.
Maybe there’s just you and me.
In His Name—Scott