On a sweltering summer day twenty-some years ago, my husband was on our back porch just outside the kitchen door struggling to repair an old, worn out lawnmower which had stopped working mid-way through what was already his least favorite task. Feeling equally worn out, dripping with sweat, and clearly frustrated by his failed attempts to fix it, his face and body language told the story. I was busy cleaning and noticed our three-year-old daughter standing inside the door, intently watching him and saying something in a soft voice under her breath. Curious, I walked up close enough to catch her words — “Good job, daddy; good job“. Everything in me melted. Unmoved, she quietly repeated her encouragement till a while later he was able to get the mower started again. He looked up to notice her face pressed against the glass, and with a quick smile and a thumbs up, went back to work, completely unaware of the love and pint-sized empathy extended to him from the other side of the pane. As she stood there, I realized her heart was ten sizes too big for her tiny frame.
This anecdotal moment often reminds me to be more … More mindful of little comforts that collectively soften the rough edges of everyday wear and tear on our hearts. More observant of and grateful for each kindness shown to me, not just by those from whom it’s pleasantly unexpected, but especially from the ones who are “expected” to show up every day and do. More generous with words that edify and heal. More amazed by gifts of mercy showered on us with each new sunrise, sent to encourage weary hearts and strengthen “weak hands and feeble knees” as we “run with endurance the race set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1,12) And finally, more joyful that, even when I don’t understand “why”, behind the scenes and in ways I cannot see, I am cared for by One who is “too wise to err, too kind to injure, and too tender to crush.” (1)
I guess I’m learning to better appreciate this simple fact — life is sometimes sweeter than we know.
(1) “The Valley of Vision”