It’s been a long time since I got “the look”; I’d say a good ten years or so. It had been ages since I last saw it; I had almost forgotten what it looked like. This morning– it was back.
On our way to school Friday morning, my grandson and I were thanking God for all of His beautiful creations-trees, flowers, birds. On the mornings when I drive him to school, we always lift up each family member by name and pray for them-for health, for safety, for needs. This usually takes up most of the eight or so minutes it takes to journey from the house to the school’s drop off circle. When we arrived at Discovery Academy and its welcoming circular drive-way, the time had come to say our good-byes. I called out to him as he exited the car. “Bye honey, I love you. Have a great day!” He turned back, and there it was…the look-eyes open wide as the mouth of a pickle jar, chin extended forward. He headed for the entrance of the school, and as he tugged on the door handle, he took one last look back to reinforce his unspoken emotion with…the look.
I could not imagine what was wrong or what I had said or didn’t say. I thought for sure it was because he must not have heard me mention his name when we were praying. Had I named everyone else but him? No, actually I had prayed for him first since he was going to have a test that day. He must not have heard me; I’ll have to clear that up later.
After school my daughter went to the to pick him up and they came by the house.
“Hi sweetie, how was your day today?” I inquired, gearing up to ask what that morning look was all about.“You know honey, this morning when I dropped you off at school you looked as though I had hurt your feelings. Did you think that Gammy didn’t mention you when we prayed, because you know I did. Yours was the very first name since I knew you had a test today.” I waited for his reply, thinking for sure I had hit the nail on the head.
“No Gammy it wasn’t that; it’s just that you said ‘bye honey, I love you SO LOUD that everybody could hear it.” Now I remembered what “the look” was all about. My kids used it many a times growing up.
So that was it; he was embarrassed by me having said “I love you” in public; Oh, and the “honey” part probably didn’t help matters much either. It seemed like just yesterday when it was ok to say such things–actually, it was yesterday. Now suddenly we are in the “you’re embarrassing me” phase. You know what I’m talking about. Next is the “I can’t be seen with my parent/grandparent at the beach, store, what-have-you, cause one of my friends might see me” phase.” Did I do that to my parents? Guilty as charged, I sure did…
I think we can really relate these experiences back to our relationship with Christ. Can we freely say that we love Jesus in public without fear of what people might think? Are we embarrassed to express God’s love to those around us who really need a touch of the Master’s hand? If we are honest, we would probably have to admit that at one time or another we weren’t as bold as we would have liked to have been. Even Peter struggled with this as told in Luke 22:54-62. He denied Christ and in the end, wept bitterly..He had failed His Lord, His Christ, but he was forgiven. In Acts 12 we learn that God delivered Peter from prison, sending an angel to free him from his bondage. When we declare Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, we too are freed from bondage and forgiven. So from now until the day of His return let us live by the words of Paul “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” Romans 1:16
Well, my little guy is growing up; thankfully, this phase too shall pass. It was such a joy when my kids made it through that phase, when public affection was no longer embarrassing; caring words freely spoken without them trying to hide in a corner.
Well, if my grandson thinks I’m going to stop saying ‘I love you’ in public that’s just not happening; but maybe next time I’ll use my “inside” voice.