Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Grace for Middle

Middle has been saying lately, “I feel like I’m the only person in the world.”  She offers this refrain in a tone of wonderment, awe, and a little bit of confusion, as if expecting an explanation from her mother. Silly me, I’ve been thinking that what she’s suddenly aware of is developmentally appropriate self-centeredness—the kind that everyone grows through and hopefully out of by the time they reach their later years.  
I’ve offered my most reasonable explanations for her feelings: “Well, Ev, it makes sense that you feel that way. After all, you can only see out of your eyes.  You can only hear out of your ears, and feel with your body. It makes sense to me that you feel like everything is happening to just you—like you are the main character in your story.”

Both times I offered this explanation, I was countered with a rebuff—a long exasperated sigh. “NO! That’s not what I mean. I don’t feel like I’m the main character in my story. I feel like I’m the main character in the whole world! Like there’s nobody else and everything is just happening to me.”  And then she elaborated, “See, when I go out to play and knock on the door of my friends’ houses, they are always home. And it almost seems like God has made them be at home, just so I can have someone to play with.”

Then I got it:  If God has gone to the trouble of arranging such things as playdates for Middle, she must indeed be very important.  He must care about her very much. So much, in fact, that it might feel like she is the only one in the world to be tended to.

So it wasn’t what I thought--not just developmentally appropriate self-awareness, but awareness of divine favor. Of Grace.  Middle was moving through the world with a growing insight of the existence of divinity so invested in her life and well-being that natural situations were altered, were custom-tailored just for her.

It wasn’t thirty seconds after this last conversation that Middle began fretting over a lost pencil. See, we were going to park in front of the junior high and wait for Oldest to finish up her orchestra lessons. And Middle wanted to use the waiting time to work on her homework—but no pencil.

As I sidled the car up to the curb in front of the school, an object in the street caught my eye. “Ev, I think I just drove over a pencil? You can get out of the car and get it. I’m not sure if it’s sharpened, though,” I cautioned.

Middle leapt out of the car, snatched up the pencil from the street, and climbed back in, announcing triumphantly. “Of course it’s sharpened!” And then, with a giggle, “It’s like God just put it there for me!”

1 comment:

Lisa, the Swede said...

I love this! And I love you :)