she blinked and I melted

She was zipped up in sleeper pajamas at 6 pm, strapped in to a highchair inside the McDonalds playplace. I was there for work, but she was there with her siblings and her dad, who was listening intently to headphones nearby. Her siblings scampered off in socked feet to chase one another, but she stayed strapped in.

She wasn’t protesting, not enough to make a scene anyway. She had a straw that kept her occupied, but she mostly just sat and stared. So, I stared at her too. I wondered at this beautiful little one – what she was thinking and what she wasn’t. I wondered why she showed so little expression on her cherub, fast-food face.

She was staring in my direction and I just couldn’t help it. My face slowly started to glow (in the way one does when talking to a 2 year old). My eyebrows arched and my mouth formed that humiliating “O” but her gaze still seemed set just behind my shoulders. I persisted with “hi there’s” and “hellos” until her eyes shifted ever so slightly and she blinked.

She blinked and I felt myself come into her view.

Yes! Yes, little one I am looking at you with my goofy eyes and silly statements. She finally saw me and slowly realized she was the target of my (still very respectful and public) affection. I’m almost certain I didn’t imagine that her face eased into recognition and responded with dimpled cheeks.

Her delight melted my heart and I wanted to give her goofy eyes much longer than would have been socially acceptable. I wanted, at least, to know that this little one gets the kind of affection that brings the kind of delight that melts a person’s heart.

I wanted that for the little girl in the zipped up pink pajamas in the McDonald’s playplace tonight.

marveling at the power of affections

“If I was as busy as my daughter, I wouldn’t find time to sleep. She’s got 3 dogs, 5 cats, works full-time and goes to school full-time,” the portly old man said as he stood at the counter, “I usually don’t come here in the afternoon, but she said she wanted coffee and so I said okay and here I am.”

“Yeah,” the barista replied, “It seems like it’s hard for anyone to find time these days.”

“Well, I’m retired,” he said, “So I don’t do much a nothing.”

And there he was in the coffee shop waiting on his daughter’s coffee order. Because that’s what he chose to do with all his time doing nothing. I don’t know if that little exchange is significant in its reflection of our culture (schedules, family dynamics, consumerism and all that jazz). But I do know that something struck me as I eavesdropped.

This kind man was retired, well-fed, and eager to tell a stranger about one thing: his daughter. I got the impression he didn’t see a lot of her, because of her dogs and cats and two-timing full-time gigs. I’m not sure their paths cross all that often. For some reason, on this day, the daughter called her dad to say she would have time to stop by for coffee in between all her running around.

I just imagine him hurriedly pulling his cell phone from his hip while simultaneously rousing himself from his afternoon nap. And then I imagine his haste to get out the door when she said the words, “I might have time to have a cup of coffee…”

I imagine all this because you could hear the affection in his voice (I couldn’t see his face, but I imagine it beaming) for his daughter and the moments he would spend with her, even if they were fleeting.

Well, I guess I am just marveling at the power of our affections. It doesn’t matter how our stories read today – how different they are or how similar. What does matter is that we are made in the image of a relational God who has designed us with these affections towards one another that would point to Himself.

Today, I am marveling at the power of affections.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

how lofty are you?

photo by Casey Groves in Iowa

There is snow falling in flaky clumps outside, freckling the brown ground. I couldn’t call tonight dreary even if I stretched my imagination to its stretchiest state. The moments are delicious with laughter and Jasmine Green Tea and new things to puzzle. Continue reading