Service With a Smile
My children and I were meditating on the godly characteristic of compassion during our Scripture reading and devotion time recently. My children are like any other a mother can admit to, human, and we had no sooner got through our prayer time when all four of them began displaying the opposite of compassion for one another. It is just too much for a mother to take sometimes, isn’t it? Well, I stopped class time, and I pulled out my Bible again. As I prepared to revisit and amplify the lesson I thought we had just covered before our school day began, one of my children, of whom I will not give the satisfaction of being named in this blog entry, said that they were just loving on one another. Loving, huh?
This was meant to be a distraction or a decoy, I am sure, but I took the time to reread Psalm 103 to them and then discussed what I could remember about The 5 Love Languages taught by Gary Chapman. I told them about what I knew to be the love language each of them spoke in and gave them examples of why. They agreed with my analysis of each one and gave their own examples of what they have observed about each other. So, again we prayed to be shown ways of being compassionate, to help us identify when someone is being compassionate, and to speak in true love to one another. Secretly, I asked the LORD to give me sightings of my children living this lesson out.
I need to open up my mama heart to you here: My second son Theo has never, and I do mean never, said he loves me. I know he does, however. His love language is “acts of service.” When he obeys, when he serves me, he does it without preamble or explanation. He just does it and goes on about his business without much ado about anything. I know that when he smiles while he is taking my dirty plate to the sink to wash it for me without being asked to that he is actually saying, “I love you, Mom.” Sometimes this mom needs to hear the words though! I expressed this during our discussion on love languages the same time I was giving examples about how his sister uses her “gift giving” love language and his brothers’ desire “quality time” because that is both their love language; so, I really didn’t think he would pick up on the plea.
A few days later the three boys and I were reading through birthday cards at the store because it was my daughter’s birthday. I like to choose one sappy card and one fun card from my husband and I to our kids on their birthday, and I usually have their siblings choose a card to give as well. Cards are important to my daughter, the gift giver likes to keep all her cards and reread them; so, the boys were having a lot of fun deciding which one they wanted to give her this year while I was searching for a couple on my own.
Theo tapped me on the shoulder and interrupted my search, after a short time looking. He handed me a card and blushed, “This is the kind of card I should give you for your birthday each year, Mom.” I noticed that he didn’t turn away while I read it, he stood there and watched me. The gist of the card was this: he may not actually say he loves me, but he certainly always will. My eyes grew misty, but I held it together as not to embarass him when I smiled and thanked him. I got his “I love you” smile then he took the card from my hands and put it back on the rack. It took everything in me not to walk over and slip that card into my cart to buy as a physical reminder of his love, but what my boy gave me was a gift I will keep eternally, and that card is only a momentary momento. Oh, Theo, I seek 1Timothy 4:12 for you: Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Your heart is true and I pray you will remain pure. Thank you, son.
Father God, I think about your Son who came not to rule but to serve, and He did this with absolute purity and obedience. Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received. 2 Corinthians 1:3. Jesus, your act of love was once for all, and I thank you with all my being. There is no greater love. Amen.