Monday, November 8, 2010

Hands and Beard Commands of the Future

"Dang, look how big my hand is," said the twelve year old boy on the drive to school.
"You've always had big hands," said the mom.
"I mean seriously, look. It's bigger than my face."
"Do you know that before you were born, I could feel those hands inside me, pushing around?"
"Mom, hate to tell you, but that's just weird."
"Yeah, it was a little weird. But it's true. It's the first thing we noticed after you were born. Well, maybe not the first thing. It took a took a few minutes to get over what a big baby we had."
The boy laughed.
"I bet that when you're a man you'll have grown into those hands. I wonder what you'll look like when you're a man."
"I'm going to grow a beard," said the boy, nodding to himself. "And when I get kids, I'm going to make them kiss it. I'm going to say 'Kiss it. KISS THE BEARD!'"

That kids cracks me up.
And he reminds me how quickly life changes.
Maybe it's easiest to see change in the life of a child. One day you're feeling him moving inside you, pressing his hands against you, your own little fetal mime swaddled tight by your body, and the next thing you know, he's out running around the yard in a dalmatian with a gas mask costume, making up his own words, batting his eyes at you, throwing leaves into the wind. Turn around twice and he'll be headed out the door, off to make up a life of his own.

Last night, as I watched our youth group perform "This Changes Everything," a new musical by singer-songwriter Kyle Matthews, I was struck by the sight of a choir full of former babies. How did they grow up so quickly? Didn't I just see them toddling down the nursery hallway? Didn't they just sit in the circle with me in fourth grade Sunday school?
And now they're standing before us, growing their hands, their faces, their voices, their baby bodies into young men and women! We used to lead them, and now they're leading us. Or maybe they've been leading and teaching all along.

I look at these kids, at my kids, my boy with the big hands and the future beard of his dreams, and I'm happy to remember the words God spoke to his people through the voice of Jeremiah,

I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed.
Jeremiah 29: 11-14 The Message

I'm excited to see what the future brings to the kids in our lives. Aren't you? I'm happy for the lucky ones who already recognize they've got their hands in God's work. That God has his hands in their work. There are so many good things to come!
(And I have to say that I'll be watching to see if Sam indeed has a beard in his future.)

Have a wonder-full Monday, y'all!
Love, Becky

Photo of the kind of beard I'd like for Sam for the next few years by Your Secret Admiral, through creative commons. Want some felt facial hair of your own? Hop over here!


Alise said...

Oh my gosh, that story is funny! Kiss the beard -- classic!

Watching my kids grow is really one of the most fascinating to me. I can't wait to see them as adults. Their compassion and wit amaze me all the time -- I hope to see that continue to mature as they grow. It's a joy to behold!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Kiss the beard!
It's such a blessing to watch them grow up and change over time--but a bittersweet one.

Laura said...

It is SO neat to see them take wing, isn't it, Becky? Really, it's what we raise them for.

My boys are all into beards. The thing to do when you go off to college at my house is to grow some facial hair. It's funny.

Amy Sullivan said...

Yes, I am so excited to see what the future brings for my little ones. Excited, but so apprehensive. Excited, but already long for all of that long ago, sweet smell of baby time.

Dawn said...

That is an awesome beard and a terrific story! Blogging not only creates a network of friends but also provides a way to keep adding to our kids' baby book in a more fun story-telling way! And of course, I always love your spiritual insights! I've often thought my kids are teaching me more than I can hope to teach them.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I love to hear your comments and feelings about your own families. Hugs to you all!

Douglas Dahl said...

Thanks for the post. It is amazing how fast they grow up. (Not that I am the first person ever to say that.) One of our daughters had her 13th birthday just the other day and I am still thinking of her as a 3 year old dancing to "Veggie Tales."

LW said...

In eight days my baby will be 22, I remember right after he was born I would hold him constantly. He would fall asleep in my arms and I would not put him down. My dad was here on one of those days and I remember him smiling at me and saying “dearie, you can hold him all you want but he is still going to grow up.” My dad was on to me, he saw right through my intentions.