When Jesus came into Peter’s house, He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her. Mathew 8:14-15
My kids have gotten into the habit of gifting candy to each other for birthdays and Christmas. So, while celebrating Jocelyn’s birthday last week, it was no surprise to see Zack cross the room with a bag, pull out an enormous pack of gummy warms and hand it to her. What was surprising was he then went around the room pulling out more treats to gift to the rest of us.
None of us had expected it, nor had we asked for it. But it touched something deep within me that needed to be healed.
The deeper my boys move into the teen years, the more insensitive, self-absorbed and thoughtless they become. Not only do their choices infuriate me on a regular basis, but their lack of appreciation and the amount of selfish taking does the same. What I hadn’t realized was how all of it had become hurtful, breaking my heart in slow, small increments that must have added up.
That unsolicited, loving and thoughtful gesture on Zack’s part was like a balm to my aching heart. It gave me a glimpse of the boy I’d raised, and gave me hope that he’s still here. He just got buried under all the growing pains of adolescence.
What made it such a big moment for me was that I hadn’t prompted it. It was a direct reflection of Zack’s love for us all.
In the New Testament, almost every miracle Jesus performs is prompted by the person who longs to be healed. Yet when Jesus goes to Peter’s house, no one asks Jesus to heal Peter’s mother-in-law. That miracle was completely unprompted, and a direct reflection of Jesus’ love for Peter. I’m sure Peter knew Jesus loved him, but the healing of his mother-in-law must have touched him deeply.
Clearly, there’s a big difference between healing a sick woman and gifting a bag of candy. But the sentiment is the same. When any gesture is unprompted and inspired by love, it heals and blesses us in profound ways.
Questions for Reflection:
- Have I been the recipient of an unprompted kindness recently? How did it impact me?
- Have I extended an unprompted kindness to anyone else recently?
When any gesture is unprompted and inspired by love, it heals and blesses us in profound ways. #shiftingmyperspectiveTweet
Claire, you can be very proud of the love you instilled in your kids! They may be typical teenagers, but they are sweet and loving. Last week I opened my phone to find a text from Zack saying “Just popping in to say ‘I love you’! That unsolicited gesture of love had me smiling all day! Your kids are a reflection of the love that you and John show them! xoxo
Oh Mom! You just made me cry! I had no idea Zack did that. That just warms my heart and gives me more peace knowing his beautiful heart is still there and spreading love! Thank you!!!
You are blessed to have captured in word a simple joy of life. It is what my grandfather always referred to as a “rose”. You have to get stab and pricked over and over again before you can touch the smooth, soft, velvet rose petals or smell the delights of life. You see the rose and it’s beauty compels one to reach for it, which results in an encounter with a thorn. Ouch! For me your story brought my grandfather back to me and reminded me that my teens, my children are beautiful roses in life and with each thorn I navigate around or encounter, (Ouch) brings me closer to them. Thank You
This is a BEAUTIFUL image, Brigite! And it really helps me realize I need to accept those thorns because, oh my, the rose is just stunning when I get to it! Thank you for sharing your grandfather’s wisdom. It means a lot!
What a truly uplifting, reassuring and rewarding moment you experienced, Claire in this totally “unprompted giving” you witnessed in Zach’s loving candy gift to Jocelyn on her birthday, and the additional gifts he then gave out to each of you. Our Loving God is so full of surprises, as in this moment, to let you know He’s aware of all your efforts to teach your children His Kingdom principles of love, and to reassure you the seeds you faithfully plant in your children are taking root deep within them, no matter how their outward behavior at times discourages you. That all children should be blessed with a caring, prayerful and trusting mother like you!
Thank you, Jackie! It makes me chuckle when I think of the old Army slogan that I’ve heard moms apply to motherhood: “It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love!” And these candy/unprompted giving moments make all that hard work worth it. Thanks for sharing in my journey through it and for always being so supportive!