Today was Ava’s 2nd birthday. We are JUST ending the whole shebang. 😛 I just can’t settle in to sleep without lifting something off my heart…
The hero of the party was Elmo because Ava loves herself some Elmo. 🙂 I, personally, cannot stand Elmo. Never really understood the appeal. I think i mostly despise his persistence to refer to himself in the 3rd person. While I realize that this is not an idiosyncrasy that is a turn off to most toddlers, I never could understand the HUGE, obsessive following. But, I am an American, so what my toddler wants, my toddler gets!! Kidding…anyway, Elmo lurked in every corner and crevice of my house today. Ava LOVED it. She got a hug me Elmo thing today too that she was pretty happy with. It wasn’t until I happened upon a group of kids emphatically and excitedly discussing Elmo that it finally clicked. My oldest daughter was the one who said it: “Elmo loves EVERYBODY!!!!!!!” (and yes, it sounded like septuple exclams :P). Not everybody loves Elmo; Elmo loves everybody. His following suddenly made more sense than any other Hollywood or athlete groupie out there.
We are in a world and a culture starved of real, genuine, pure, sacrificial love. I think even our children feel this. When love is offered, it is irresistible, unless you’ve been so wounded that your guard will not allow you to accept it. I think this is why so many children will eagerly and unabashedly seek it out. They are just following their natural drive. And Elmo offers it. I don’t think there is a single episode that he doesn’t tell the kids that he loves them.
What if i loved kids like Elmo loves kids? I’m not even talking a goal as lofty as loving like Jesus. If i could just reach Elmo level, it would be a massive improvement.
Jesus help me. I snapped today at someone who I have been called to love. In an instant I knew that I had just kinda shirked a calling by snapping. This rides on the coattails of severely hurting someone else last week by lazily choosing my words when talking about them to someone and affording them the opportunity to take what I meant out of context. Actually, lets just be honest right now you and me…My heart wasn’t right when I said what I said about her. Was I speaking truth? Yes. Was I trying to be damaging and wounding? Not at all. I was actually trying to encourage the person I was talking to to work some issue with them out. Was I coming from a place of love? Mmmm, not fully. Was there some arrogance mixed in the whole lot? Unfortunately, yes. Dear God I hate to admit the blackness, but yes, there was. I had nothing to say when confronted but to apologize and take a tone of full humility under the piercing, verbal assault. I have been praying for full restoration and forgiveness and an opportunity to love her. I got the chance tonight to serve her, and it brought tears to her eyes, and I just had to worship God for such a quick answer to that prayer. But I had already snapped a bit with someone else who was not listening to what I was repeatedly asking for. Ugh.
Perhaps I am not a slow-tempered woman. I never read the story of Moses smashing the Ten Commandments in rage or striking the rock in frustration and wondered how on earth Moses could do such a thing. I am reading those passages waiting for him to also go Elisha on them and send in some raging lions. I get it.
God, I am so weary in spirit.
I prayed as soon as I had snapped for Him to fix it because the relationship is already a difficult one. I just knew that I had put another ax chop the the root of the relationship. You know what? He did. But I wished I had lived and loved a little bit more like Elmo from the start with both these ladies. Loved first, not just in response. Love freely. Loved without condition. Loved a little bit more like Jesus.