I’m sure many of you are familiar with the five love languages. They are words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, personal touch and gifts. I have a daughter whose love language is personal touch. I’ll be honest, this is a major struggle for me because this is not the love language I am most comfortable giving or receiving.
One particular Friday night my husband and I and our three children were getting ready to go to WalMart. Cuz that’s what super cool parents with three little kids do for fun on a Friday night. My daughter grabbed my hand and I did something I am ashamed to admit. I shook her off. I actually brushed her hand away and removed my arm from her grasp. I did it all gently and without complaint. Really, I did it all without even realizing I had done it.
It didn’t even register with me what had happened until early the next morning when I was driving home from the gym. For some reason God chose that moment to remind me of how I had pulled away from her. With tears streaming down my face I started to pray. I asked him to forgive me and promised to apologize to her. I asked Him to help me be BETTER. And then I said words that shocked me. “Help me to give more.”
And my mind reels with that statement. For women, who give so much all the time, HOW is giving more even possible? But there it is in the cry of my heart - I want to give more. I beg the One who gave it ALL to help me follow closer in His perfect footsteps - me with my stumbling, bumbling gait.
I don’t get it all right. I mess up. I’m very much the poster child for the imperfect mother. I am not the mother of the year. I am not even the mother of the last five minutes. If I were writing a song you can bet it would sound like my three year old banging on the piano. It would be a mess. Probably no identifiable tune. Lots of flats and sharps that don’t make sense on their own. Too quiet in places and way too loud in others.
I’m not alone in this, you know. Reading the New Testament can be a little humbling for me. With heroes of the faith like the apostles who really measures up? But with a glance at the Old Testament I start to feel a little better about myself. I look a little better standing next to Jacob the perpetual liar or Samson the prideful. One might be tempted to chalk them up as bad melodies too.
But if we take a step back we’re able to see more than just a few notes at a time. We can see God’s hand composing a whole symphony. And suddenly, strangely, all those places where we thought the notes were all wrong, those are the places He has filled in with chords and harmonies too beautiful to be believed.
You see it is not our hand composing this symphony of salvation. Instead we are notes on the page of the most beautiful score ever scribed. Our off-sounding notes, best efforts and failed attempts are in many ways the harmony. And God provides a melody - beautiful and pure - filling in all the gaps, suddenly making sense of it all.
Every woman wants to give more. Its something almost coded in our DNA. It’s what we do – we give. We want to reason that the more we give, the better woman we are. But it’s not our efforts that determine the beauty of the song.
I'm learning about my need for a Savior all over again, and I invite you to do something brave with me. I invite you to give yourself a break - to stop worrying about playing all the wrong notes, and to instead listen carefully for the music God is creating. He’s taking all the bad notes, the off-sounding chords, and even the most off-beat moments and wrapping them in a beautiful melody. He sings His salvation song over, around and through us and He invites us to drop the worry and to join in the dance.
(Photo credit: Megan Vande Voort)