That’s My Boy

May 19, 2018

The caboose.

That’s what I used to call my Danny boy, the youngest of the Peercy Posse. He was the one that would bring up the rear, the last car in the train.

Then he came home from his first day of kindergarten and announced that he didn’t want to be called the caboose any more.

He was always having to speak too loudly to try and be heard above the noise of the crowd of siblings. He has been bossed and occasionally bullied and sometimes left behind. But I have watched him learn to navigate the maze of people in our home as the one who would get along with anyone.

He has had some legendary one-liners – especially in his very young days when his vocabulary had outgrown his enunciation. When he flatly assured one of his brothers, “That’s hi-wa-wious. You’re hi-wa-wious” (hilarious), the car-load of people roared with laughter. When he felt his oldest brother’s words were contradictory to his actions, he informed me, “Dad, Mickey’s being a democrat.” (No political commentary intended, just confused the word democrat with hypocrite. Supply your own joke in whatever direction you want to take it.)

All along, despite his hindrance with Bell’s palsy and other frustrations, he has had this drive to be a part of something bigger than himself. He has grown up with a recognition of the need for community—the need to share life with others. He loves being on a team whether it’s a worship team or a soccer team or a leadership team or his biggest team, the band.

For his last end-of-year band banquet last night, he was asked to share some thoughts. He was honest and kind of emotional (which we know as transparency). He was clear-spoken and accurate. He owned old mistakes and celebrated grace (in his band director’s restraint from taking his life when he damaged a tuba at a marching contest while playing hackey sack). And he ended with one of his greatest strengths—pulling his peers together in their traditional “D-town” chant.

And the audience stood to their feet in appreciation of a kid showing his heart and sharing his passion and being real… and expressing what this whole band thing really is.

It was a proud moment for his old man. I was proud that he did without my coaching what I try to do all the time. Though he was so incredibly nervous, he put the fear behind for the greater purpose before him.

That’s my boy.

 

Sitting on the porch this morning reflecting on that sweet moment, I realize that this feeling of joy in my heart as I see that young man doing what he was made to do, what he was raised to do, I had a moment of recognition.

I have written much about the fact that God has taught me more about Himself through my kids than through any book I could read. And in this moment of reflecting on the pride and joy I felt over my son last night, I see this truth again so very clearly.

When we lean into that purpose for which we were created, it brings delight to the heart of our Creator.

To this end the Psalmist implored:

Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. (Psalm 69.34)

As I sat and watched my son do just part of what he was made to do, my heart was full, saying, “That’s my boy!”

And so our Father, when I do what I was made to do, is filled with joy. No doubt He too whispers, “That’s my boy.”

The Hard Evidence of Love

November 28, 2017

Love is one of those words that is kind of abstract. You ask 100 people about what love is and you will likely get 70-80 different answers. I think that love, in its purest sense, is the determination to do what is best for the one loved.

But love is an idea, more than just a feeling, that has to take action. It has to make the choices that best serve the one loved.

In John 14, after Jesus introduces us to the wondrous promise that He will send the Holy Spirit, he makes some interesting comments.

You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I will come to you.” If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here. (John 14.28-31)

When Jesus told the disciples that he was leaving for a while, it brought a significant fear to their hearts. Like a kid who is being told that his parents are leaving for a while, their immediate concern is for what is to become of them without Jesus there to lead, guide, and teach them. But he went on to promise His return in the person of the Holy Spirit.

He comes back to their reaction by trying to show them His own example. He said, “If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father.”(28) Why would they rejoice over that news? Because it’s what they knew, if they were at all thinking about His heart instead of their own, would bring Him joy—to be back in the presence of the Father.

Jesus is revealing what is going to come about so that their faith will be bolstered when it comes to pass.(29) He is aware that His time with them is coming to an end and there was not much opportunity left to give instruction. “The ruler of this world” that Jesus said was coming was surely the working of Satan to bring Jesus to the cross—despite the fact that he had no rightful claim upon Jesus as there was no sin in Him to condemn.(30)

Jesus explains that He is going to obey the Father’s plan out of love for the Father and for them… and us. He was going to do this hard work out of love.(31)

Jesus was determined to give evidence of His love for the Father and for all of us. He was determined to do what was best for us, to die the death we deserve that He most certainly did not.

It was going to be hard.

But Jesus was determined to produce the hard evidence of love.

What about us?

Will we do the hard things so that others may see the evidence of the love of Jesus in our lives?

As this chapter closes, I would challenge us all… “Rise, let us go from here.” But let us go out more concerned with the things that please His heart. Let us go out more concerned with the needs of others than our own.

Let us go out to give the hard evidence of love to those we meet.

When the Stones Dropped

October 24, 2017

Imagine being caught in the most embarrassing situation you can think of… at your most shameful moment.

Imagine that the ones who caught you in this compromising position were the leaders of the local religious institution, the ones known for their flowery prayers and fine speeches and in-depth Sunday School lessons.

Imagine being dragged by your arm or your hair through the streets in whatever remnants of clothing you had about you when you were caught. Feel the disdainful stares of the women in the streets and the creepy eyes of the men taking note of every detail they could soak into their memory of your compromised state of appearance.

Think of the cold stares and snidely condemning words from the men who accompanied you on this journey and the way they sized you up when they found the perfect stone along the street. Picture what it might have been like to come around the corner into the courtyard outside the temple where this young teacher that was gaining so much attention happened to be.

This is the real life experience of a woman that remains unnamed in John’s gospel record as she was caught in the act of adultery.

Take a moment to read it in John 8.1-11. Read the rest of this entry »