Here Comes My Friend

He is not marked by the flippant word. He knows no hurt in his heart yet. He freely loves and welcomes all, seeing only the benefit of their coming.

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I swallow hard. Steel myself. Hope I can give grace when I’d rather shoot daggers.

My heart has known flippant words from time to time. A marring glance. I know the damage, the weight, as those words or glances heap on and become heavier with time. As the momma bear all those months ago welcomed this sweet boy into her heart, she now fends the world off not just for herself but for littles as well. I want to protect his gentle heart. I love how it welcomes, seeks, unaware yet of the battle lines and expectations of this world. How do we hold our littles close while preparing them to be marked by this world? I think we can all agree, regardless of your religion or political orientation that this world is not good and we don’t always love like we should. Oh the wonderments of a momma heart.

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“Momma I want to crawl in the sand.” Sigh. We don’t yet have the sleeves that might help prevent the dreaded sand kernel from wrecking havoc on his prosthetic legs and all my sweet little wanted to do was crawl around pushing the playground truck. It, after all, had a very busy job to do and was just sitting there waiting for some little boy to see it’s potential (missing wheel and all).

DSC01823So I popped off his legs, took off the liners and let him crawl around. I didn’t think twice about it because there was no one around, not a soul at the park this morning. But then I heard the babbling and banter of a little and his mom.

Cade heard it too and he said, “here comes my friend.”

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And I knew they’d walk right up to the sandbox because that’s the first place little boys want to go. And they did. I sat there. Clearly Cade looks different. What do you say? “So I see there that you notice my son doesn’t have feet.” Nope. That wouldn’t do. Talk about awkward. Then I thought “Feet. What feet. Who needs them.” Grimace. Nope why don’t you just dig that hole deeper Cade and drop momma inside.

“Caedmon, why don’t you give your friend here a shovel so he can play with you.” That’s the best I had. That’s all I had.

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And he did. He stump walked right over the edge, handed the little boy a shovel and sat back down explaining that the “excavator was working hard.”

So I watched and I waited, quite intrigued really. Cade could care less. He is not self conscious yet. He’s barely commented on the difference between he and mommy, daddy and baby Kai Kai. I’m not sure exactly when that starts. The little boy was reluctant. But he was also much younger. I watched the mom’s eyes dart. He eventually got in and started digging. So I looked at the mom and asked “how old is your son?” When in doubt, start with age. Win win. It eases them in. So she proceeded to tell me she was the nanny and we chatted away for awhile. She ended up asking about his legs and that is ALWAYS easier. It was nice and did not feel strained. I breathed a sigh of relief. Crisis to my heart (and his) adverted, for now.

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But I pondered it all the way home. My response was dread and a bit of anxiety at their arrival. My little boy simply, light heartedly, responded “here comes my friend.” Do you think maybe this is what is wrong with the world?

At some point we stop looking at other people as a potential friend and more like an enemy. An unknown. A potential hurt rather than a laugh, a confidant, or a hope. I have to wonder, what it would look like if I intentionally focused my heart on seeing everyone as a potential friend rather than an intrusion into my existence. What if I saw HOPE? What if we all did? Imagine that world. That’s a place I want to live. A place I imagine my momma heart would thrive.

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We all have known those heavy words but why do they stick harder than the joy words, the words of affirmation we all have ALSO known? I encourage you today to see that person for the potential they could bring rather an intrusion into your existence. It might just make all the difference. And right now, I think the world could use a difference.

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But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

-Lamentations 3:21-24

 

9 comments

  • Barbara

    Jackie, what a wise and precious lady you are. You handled it perfectly. And, that little boy is the most beautiful child I’ve seen. Love to you all.
    Barb

  • Ingrid

    Jackie, you have such a way with words. Such a lovely piece. It’s hard to be a momma but, as you are finding, it’s the hardest job you’ll ever love. Blessings to you and your beautiful family. Love you!

  • Valerie Hamel Morikone

    What a wonderful message you’ve graced us with, Jackie. I want to be more open to those around me and see the potential for a friendship. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. I always look forward to read your posts.

  • Vicki

    Just beautiful.

  • Deena Des Voigne

    Thanks for this. I suffered a major stroke 30 years ago, and realized that people didn’t understand. At first I walked like a baby learning to walk, and my balance was terrible so used my arms for balance pole. It caused some uncomfortable moments, more for them than for me. I simply explained that (at that time we thought it was just a head injury as I had hit my head in an accident–it would be 30 years before we would know that it was a major stroke) I had had a head injury, and they all sighed a group sigh of relief. I came to realize they were more uncomfortable with my disability and the unknown, than I was, and it was part of my job to try and explain it. My Mother, had the hardest time with it all, as she had to watch me struggle for everything, cry at anything, stress over everything, and work to control stress, so I wouldn’t uncontrollably cry. She was great about doing what I asked of her to make things easier, as I was blind on the left side of both eyes, she acted like a seeing eye dog in that I would put my left hand on her shoulder and navigated us through crowds. She never told me I couldn’t do anything. She wasn’t good at encouraging, but I learned how to encourage myself, and she felt badly about it. I learned how to encourage myself, and see people’s potential. I try to see people the way the Lord sees them. There are so many warts and cracks and broken places on out outsides, but He sees the intents of the heart, and knows that despite our failures, our intent is to live for Him, to follow Him, to walk our Salvation with fear and trembling our hand in His. So I let Him show me who they really are, and it makes loving them easier. Some people are so wounded they bite everyone that are around them. I just ask Him to give me a love for them. It has made me who I am today, 30 years later, and I am not sorry. It took a long time for me to be thankful that He did what He did with the stroke, but I am so grateful, I wouldn’t change a moment of my life. He will learn how to love, that is so very important, and to look past the hurtful words, and looks past the fear people have of not being ‘whole’ or “healthy’ and he will love them to the Lord. Thanks so much for sharing your heart.

  • Julie Christian

    That was lovely!
    I was good friends with both Michelle and Mike (Bucky) during our Jr. High and High School days.
    I’m so glad Michelle shares your postings. They bring joy to me.

    Blessing to you and your precious family,

  • Tanya M. Williams

    Jackie, you are such a beautiful person! You have a way with words just like a poet. Your little soldier is so precious! Continue to do what you’re doing. He is a lucky little boy to have a GREAT Momma Bear to love, protect, and guide him through this tough ?. Your family is such an inspiration!

  • Oh My Sweet Girl, how you bless my heart. You make me smile, make me ponder my own heart and change me for the better. Love you and your sweet family and look forward to seeing sometime soon.

  • Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit
    my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not
    writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted
    to say wonderful blog!

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