Rain drizzled all week as May closed out and my suburban whisked five little girls to art camp. My two oldest girls and two of their little pals all went together. As we made the forty five minute drive every day the conversations to be had by a 7,6,5, and 4 year old and many interjections from a two year old were mixed and interesting. To say the least.
Topics ranged from many things. One discussion raged on who was actually the biggest. Isn't this always a topic among young kids? Did age or height or size qualify who was the oldest?
One conversation that week had me appealing to genetics as the two oldest girls asked me "Who is going to wear a bra first?" I couldn't help but laugh in surprise at this question posed by a six and seven year old.
Lots of Taylor Swift songs were belted out and the car took on a menopausal state as all cars do with little girls. "It's hot!" "No, I'm cold!" The windows would glide up and down. Air conditioner back and forth.
Miles sped by as we closed in on home the last day of camp. They were taking "votes" in the back seat. It started about a topic, but it went personal. Little hands shot up towards the ceiling, casting their vote...on what I don't know. In unison they declared they would be on one daughter's team and no one "voted" for my oldest girl. When you are a parent it is so hard to take these things seriously because they were simply voting to vote. Already wanting to have a choice to cast their opinion. Even though the two girls had no platforms or promises. Just vote for Meredith or vote for Madelyn.
That spells trouble and little girl drama... Fast.
My oldest girl moaned in dramatic fashion, "No one wanted me!"
No one meaning four little girls under six. I tried to reason with her about the trivialness of this vote, but she couldn't be swayed. Hot tears puddled down her cheeks and reddened her green eyes.
In typical fickle five year old fashion they all commiserated with her and said, "Meredith we pick you!" But I knew that wouldn't fix it. Damage done.
She said in her usual way, "You are only saying that because I'm upset!" She sulked the rest of the way home.
I really tried to hide a smile. That is so something she would say. She would not be fooled and she would feel the rejection of four little hands raised and chanting for someone else even if the whole thing was utterly ridiculous. As the ride ended I glanced back and with the most serious voice I could muster and all smiles hidden I said, "Meredith I will always always pick you on my team."
I don't know if it helped. I think it did a little. But I knew I needed to say it.
|Two little Artists|
Fast forward a week and I found myself saying those same words all over again. One of our close friends at church didn't get a job he was so hopeful for. It seemed like a done deal and his heart was stretched out big at all the prospects of this summer opportunity. When I got the text, "I didn't get the job." I knew how his oversized heart would be dragging the floor. Sure enough when he walked through the door to talk to my husband, his hug told me all I needed to know. He had felt that "No" as a rejection. As a, "I wasn't good enough".
The next day as I headed to church I packed him a quick snack and sharpie scratched out the words "We'd pick you." on a napkin and tucked it into the snack box.
His eyes crinkled in a smile when he read those words as he opened his meal.
I thought about that phrase after it was used the past couple of weeks. "I'd pick you."
How I've said it to many people before even if it wasn't that simplified.
How we all need to know this. We've all felt the rejection even if its not personal of not being selected, of being overlooked, of finding out we just didn't meet whatever standards were being set.
A lot of us begin to feel like people automatically wouldn't pick us. I know I have. Many times.
We never try or isolate ourselves for this reason. We limit ourselves thinking other people have limited us.
This translates into the way we think about God and the team He is forming. Somehow we believe we wouldn't be picked on his team either, or for this assignment whatever it is.
After thinking it over a little I noticed that most of the characters that color the scripture are very unlikely people to be picked for anything. They do not measure up or make logical worldly sense. Except maybe that they were humble, teachable, or fraught with enough weakness that God's power might fully be displayed without themselves getting in the way. Or maybe it was just because God loved them so much and they had the childlike openness to respond.
I think God says to us every day in many ways, "I'd pick you. And I already have."
We take our own selves out of His game. A lot. Way too much. Thinking we know how He thinks. Thinking He somehow sees us through the distorted lens of humanity instead of the lenses of Creator Love.