Did you have a Happy Halloween? As you may guess from the photograph above, I did not. Someone wise once said that a mother can only be as happy as her unhappiest child. Well, look at these two. How could I possibly be happy?
Initially, Sammy was elated to be going out with a big group of friends. He joyfully made his way to the first door, the cutest little Fire Chief that has graced the planet. But at that first door he attempted to reach for a second piece of candy. Big mistake! The elderly woman snapped at him, saying in a how-dare-you tone, “I already gave you one!” Well, sensitive Sam whimpered away, and never recovered. He was embarrassed, crushed, and beastly the rest of the way. I did find out that the $2.99 Fire Chief hat I purchased for him is the real McCoy. It is completely indestructible. How do I know this? Because he spiked it in his fury at least twenty-five times. He also growled and made angry faces at Passer-Outers much friendlier than the first. Not the night I had intended.
Nate’s Halloween happiness was also short-lived and perhaps feigned all along. This child is an enigma — a bundle of paradox. He is not shy, but desperately needs his space. He is happy in groups, until he abruptly reaches his limit and retreats. Trick or treating did not enable him to disengage and recharge. The result was he channeled every ounce of frustration at me. He was livid at me, and I’m pretty sure I did nothing to him. I’m finding, after eight years of Nate, that this is pattern. He needs an out. If unwanted socialization is forced upon him, the wrath of Nate will come for someone — more often than not it’s big brother who bears the brunt. I think he may have gotten this from me. I am an extrovert. I love being with friends, except sometimes I just reach a limit and I need time alone or more often with just my Jackson 5. Once Nate was home, sifting through candy with Monday Night Football in the background he was back to his delightful self — funny, happy, talkative and even forgiving of whatever grave offense I had so recently committed.
It’s amazing how different we all are. Surely, nurture has some effect, but our marked differences, even within families, point more to nature. God made us unique and in His image. He knew Sammy would be ultra-sensitive and a natural entertainer since the beginning of time. He knew Nate would be hilarious and engaging most of the time, and a retreater part of the time. He knew Will would be tremendously driven and kind, but prone to impatience with a strong desire to control…to control…well, everything.
These boys of mine are as different as different could be. That’s the way God made them. He’s Divinely and Infinitely Creative, and we see that in creation all around us. If you take a look outside today, you’ll see a glimpse of God’s glory. If you look at people, your little people, your co-workers, whomever, you’ll see a person made in the image of the Lord God Almighty, and you’ll clearly see that we all have different gifts. As Paul says in Romans 12:
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b]do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
So I’ll leave you with two questions: (1) When is the last time you thanked God for the uniqueness of each person? and (2) What are your gifts and how are you using them for His glory?