Through what was foretold was of great importance.  There was much knowledge and seasoned experience behind the message.  Obviously, such a message was not meant to be ignored.  To do so would only lead to ignorance and severe judgment.  Nonetheless, this seems to be the path to which many commit themselves.  Whether it is for fear or mere indignation, it leads only to that.  Therefore, let us not turn away from what is just and right.  Let us look wisdom straight in the face.

 

“I said I don’t want to go to bed.”

“Uh.  That’s too bad.”

“Mom.  I’m not tired!”

“Sure you are.”

Jim poised himself for a battle.  He was no push over.  On the contrary, he considered himself quite the seasoned fighter in this event.  He had won countless victories such as these with his father.  He wasn’t about to give in so easily.

“You know I love you, right?”

That stopped Sara mid-step.  Either her feisty little four-year-old was about to share something very important, or he was trying to purposely play the sympathy card to delay his calling to a bed down the hall.

She’d find out soon enough, she mused.

“Sure I know you love me, Jimmy.  Do you know that I love you, too?”

That was the cue he had been waiting for.  This was where little Jim shined.  He tinged his baby brown eyes with uncertainty and pouted his sweet little face into pure innocence.  He even looked down and shuffled his tiny feet, trying with all sincerity to make himself look pitiable to his opponent.  In the answering to his mother’s question, he made sure that his voice was serene and sweetened with a touch of honey.  He did so on account of past experiences with his dad, knowing that was what usually broke his father’s resolve.

“I think you do.  I’m not sure.”

Sara was taken aback.  Could he be serious?

“Honey, what do you mean you’re not sure?”

He let silence weigh heavily on his mother’s question.  He looked at her and blinked once.

He blinked again.

“You make me do things I don’t want to do, Mommy.  I always have to eat what you want me to eat.  I have to wear what you want me to wear.  I always have to do what you say and I don’t want to do what you say all the time.”

Still a little confused as to her son’s intentions, she decided to sit down on the couch and pulled Jim onto her lap.  The toys on the floor she had been picking up would have to stay where they were for a while.

“Well, Jim, you’d probably be running around naked if your Dad and I never made you wear clothes.  I know you’ve got a cute little butt, but we don’t want you to catch a cold.”

That broke a smile through Jim’s tight defenses.  He couldn’t help wondering what it would be like to run freely through the front yard with no hindrances upon his body.  He was enjoying the possibility when his mother brought him back to reality.

“And I know we make you eat those icky green things called vegetables at dinner.  If you had your way, we’d all be eating ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  If we did that, then you wouldn’t be able to walk to bed.  We’d have to roll you there.”

Another wicked grin came.  Slowly but surely, he was starting to forget his mission of squeezing another hour in before bed.

He was too enthralled in his mother.  He had never seen her like this.  She was always on the go and in charge.  There was always purpose to her actions.

But now she just sat curled up on the couch.  Now, she was just staring directly at him.  She wasn’t moving.  She wasn’t planning tomorrow’s events.  She wasn’t tidying up the house.

She just stared directly into his eyes.

Jim couldn’t explain what he was feeling.  He was receiving such attention.  He felt his little heart grow warm and his whole body relax.

Later in life, he would realize it was love he was feeling.  A most beautiful, pure love.

 

And such are the feelings we sometimes have trouble recognizing.  Whether it be our lack of experiencing them or our taking them for granted, they have the power to elude us.

It is honesty that prepares us for the truths our emotions hold, and it is trust that accepts them.  They are pure in what they feel and are to be tempered through experience.  They are the window to our heart.  While we use them to look out, others use them to look within us.  Such is the need, therefore, to grow through our relationships with others, for they provide the mirror that is needed to see within ourselves, and it takes great courage to do so.  Let no one say that character is to be found, but that it is to be built upon.

Thus is our need for truth and for wisdom.  And only through our willingness for more is more to be had.  Listening to your heart is one thing, while following it another.  Until our convictions reside in peace, we are to search; we are to strive; we are to live.  Ultimately, for many of us, the war wages on, and the battle cry resounds.

Little Jimmy ended up receiving his wish that night, though not through manipulation as he had initially intended.

Rather, he ended up staying wrapped up in his mother’s arms.  They would share an occasional word every so often, though the majority of the time was spent in silence.

As her child lay warm in her arms and slowly drifted off to sleep, Sara wondered.  It had been so long since she had felt the warmth that was residing in her heart.  As silence wrapped them both, she didn’t happen to wonder who was holding who on the couch that night.

- – -
Written by Charles Weatherhead
July 12, 2002