On Tuesday night I was in Scottsboro, Alabama for a basketball game. Since that community had tragically lost eight of its members in a horrific dock fire the day before, a moment of silence was observed. It was a stark reminder that life is fragile and short.
The next morning I drove Sam to school and en route we got a FaceTime call from my niece Caitlin. Since it was my birthday, her two year old son, Brooks, wanted to sing to me. I decided a few months back that Brooks, my grandnephew, should call me “Beeb” a childhood nickname of mine. My brother Jeff’s texts invariably start with “BEEB!” and my brother Craig called me “Beeb” or “The Beeb” almost exclusively. Perhaps the “the” was partially inspired by “Leave it to Beaver.” I’m not sure. But sometimes he’d come home and say, “Where’s the Beeb?” One time I was in a store with my mom — I was probably about nine years old — and some of Craig’s friends, around sixteen, were behind us in line.
“Are you the Beeb?” one of them asked. When you have a nickname that uncommon, you become the one and only.
So to Brooks, Will and I are “Goo Goo and the Beeb.” I’ll have to explain “Goo Goo” in another post. It is its own story. Anyway, back to sweet Brooks. He sang to me, finishing his pitch perfect rendition of the birthday song, with “Dear Bee-eeb, May Jesus bless you!” But what was really awesome was as soon as he finished he asked, “Dear Beeb, again?”
Caitlin would say, “Oh, you want to sing it again?”
And he’d start at the top.
Shouldn’t every birthday start with a two year old singing over you at least five or six times? But honestly my day just got better from there. I got the sweetest cards and texts, words you just pour over again and again to soak up the affirming kindness. One text I later read to Will. It said, “Both you and [other person] bless me by encouraging me to take Jesus more seriously while taking myself less seriously.” Is there a higher compliment? I don’t think so. In fact, I’m almost worried that I’m about to drop dead. This is clearly the pinnacle. It has to be downhill from here.
But here’s the thing: let’s not wait for untimely deaths or birthdays to tell others we love them. Let’s be committed to living it out day-to-day — affirming those around us, praying for them, and encouraging them.
The verse that first inspired this blog twelve years ago is this:
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,”. Hebrews 10:24 NIV
How will you spur someone on this weekend? This world needs more of your love and good deeds, and mine too.