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!
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!