Friday, August 24, 2012

The Day I Knew My Son Knew Me

A convoluted title, I know, but about a month ago there was a profound experience between my son and I, and I learned a lot about God at the occurrence.  It was an event that every parent has at some point, but still more than a little miraculous.

At the beginning of the summer I had the great pleasure to lead an awesome group of youth and adults on our annual youth choir tour.  It was awesome.  Great ministry with an amazing group of young people.  The one bummer to the whole thing was being away from my 5-month-old and my wife for seven days straight.

Any of you that have run trips like this (mission trips, tours, retreats) know that it's a 24/7 job from lift-off.  There's not a lot of time to call home, and when it is a good time for one person, that doesn't mean it's a good time for the other.  Leanne was actually on a mission experience of her own (with Wesley) meeting volunteers during the Central Texas Annual Conference annual conference-wide mission trip.  So, it was doubly difficult for us to connect at any point during the week.  Compound that with the fact that my son can't talk yet.  I know, silly, but it should be said.

I missed my boy.

The drive home, from Monroe, LA to Duncanville was excruciating.  But not because of the students, adults, or anything else; it was hard because I could only go so fast.  There was a lot of anticipation; I mean, what if he was a totally different kid when I got home?  Another silly thing, but one that I understand most parents have when they make that first trip away.

I'd called ahead, so Leanne knew the exact time to meet us in the church parking lot.  There was a huge sigh of relief when we pulled in and they were waiting for us.

I jumped out of the van as soon as I put it in park and ran over to hug on my family.  Leanne handed me Wesley and he curled up on my shoulder and had a laughing fit.  He been smiling and chuckling for a couple of months, but this was a full on fit of laughter.  And it was right after Leanne handed him to me after I'd been gone for a week. Do you know what this said to me?

My son knew who I was.  After just a few weeks, they say babies start to recognize their parents.  We're usually around the most, and they can even hear our voices in utero.  After a few weeks out in the world they start to turn their heads when they hear us (parents) talking.  They'll start to smile and grin when we come close.  He'd been doing that for a bit.  But here was this little guy, curled up on my shoulder and just laughing away.  He recognized me as his dad, and that no one else is.

My son knew who I was.

It was a crazy, emotional revelation.  And looking back on it, definitely a God experience, for my wife and myself.  It's gotten me thinking about what it must be like for God when a child (all of us) recognizes that God is God, and no one else is. 

If you just a read a few chapters of the Psalms, the Psalmist rights frequently of a delight in the Lord, and a returned delight to us when we delight in our service to the Lord.  The Lord delights in our recognition of God's grace and lordship, just as I laugh everytime my boy shoots me or his mama a smile. 

God revealed a little bit of God's Own Self to me the day my son recognized me.