The Golden Arches

Here’s something I wrote a while back.  I’m not sure why, but it was really resonating with me today…

So today I decided to hang out with my three year old for a little while.  We’d been putting our change in a baby bottle to raise money for Crisis Pregnancy Centers and the bottle was too full of coins to put any more in it.  I asked Hudson if he wanted to go to the bank with me so we could exchange all the coins for paper money in order to fit more in the bottle.  When we arrived, he excitedly brought the bottle to the teller window and watched the kind lady empty all the change into the coin counter.  My son had a particular interest in this because, of all our family members, he put the most money in.  When it was all counted, the teller gave us back fifteen dollars and a bottle with more room for our spare change.

After our bank errand, I asked Hudson if he’d like to get some lunch with me.  Asking your child if he’d like to eat at a resteraunt is pretty much like asking if the sky is blue, and asking a three year old if McDonald’s sounds good is like asking a drowning man if some air would be nice.  He said, “YES!

If you’ve ever shared a meal with a three year old boy, you know there’s not a ton of conversation that takes place.  “How do you like your lunch?”, “What did you do this morning?”, and “You’re getting so big!” were my contributions to the dialogue, and “uh-huh” was his.  It didn’t take long for me start looking around the dining room while I waited for Hudson to take down his chicken nuggets.

As I scanned the room, certain realizations came alive in me.  I noticed an older woman having a lively conversation with her adult son and I thought about the wonderful gift God gave us in relationships.  I saw a young man having lunch with his toddler.  He was wearing a bright green hoodie that seemed to pop out at me, and I thought how awesome it was that The Creator created colors out of nothing!  I turned my head and there was a middle-aged basketball coach, from the local youth center,  speaking into the lives of four of his young players.  I thought about the example Jesus set when he shared so many meals with his disciples and even gave the invitation to share a meal with anyone willing to open the door and let Him in.  Finaly, my eyes met Hudson’s.  His big blue eyes reflected the bright sunlit sky and he smiled a great big baby-toothed smile.  My hear melted and I felt such a massive endearing love for him.  At that moment, The Father reminded me, “That’s how I feel about you!”  I melt His heart!  Wow! And he used my youngest son to illustrate the point.

As I sat slightly stunned by all God spoke to me in a sixty second look around the resteraunt, I couldn’t help but think about the words of Isaiah, “The whole earth is filled with His Glory!”  And you can find His Glory everywhere you look… even at the Golden Arches.

Especially Loving

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a young guy who occasionally attends our Friday night prayer meeting.  There’s something about the kid that’s a mystery to me. I don’t know where his church home is,  he walks to prayer even in bad weather, and he always has plenty to philosophize about.  I’ve never seen him with any friends, he’s a bit socially awkward, and I gathered from talking to him that his parents are no longer together.  It’s not unusual for him to look like he just rolled out of bed and came in the clothes he wore the day before.  Brennan Manning would describe him as a genuine ragamuffin.

When I asked this young man how he was doing, his answer really penetrated me, “Jesus has been especially loving to me.”  Pause.  Jesus has been especially loving to me?  Without a car, money, or friends and Jesus has been especially loving?  Shame on meHow many times have I questioned His love while enjoying so much more?  How many times have I felt distant from the savior because of self-pity and ingratitude?

The last time I saw this guy, he was worshiping his heart out.  It put a huge smile on my face to watch him dance, shout, clap, and run around the room in celebration of his especially loving savior.  Some might say he’s in his own little world, but it’s a world I wouldn’t mind living in to experience an especially loving Jesus.