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Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Freelance: FRAGRANT

If you want to know the truth, ask a four-year-old child.

Ours is named Daniel. He's still cuddly, possibly because he's the baby of the family and the favorite for everyone else to cuddle. During our homeschool group's reading and Bible lessons, Daniel often gets snagged by one of his teenage sisters for the extended sitting time if I don't get to him first. Several days ago, his older sister invited, "Come sit with me." He pulled away and answered, "I want to sit with Mommy. She's beautiful."

I collected my son into my arms with an extra tight hug and a kiss—and the dismissive thought that he must have picked up that expression at a recent wedding celebration sprinkled with compliments on lavish attire. After all, small children repeat what they hear with only a vague grasp of what it really means.

But a day or so later, another one of my children was speaking to me in a less-than-glowing tone of voice. Daniel became a little upset, got in the individual's face, and admonished, "Don't talk to Mommy like that. She's beautiful."

The previously terse discussion dissolved and I gave just a tad more pause to the remark this time, since I couldn't write it off to being parroted. I held Daniel close for a bit, as if perchance to press into his psyche a sentiment I hope will last another decade until he's a teenager.

Another day or so later, Daniel again made a remark about Mommy being beautiful. It was reported to me that when one of his siblings asked him how Mommy is beautiful, Daniel answered, "Her heart is beautiful."

I can hear you all saying "awww." Mine came out more a soft gasp of "oh!" To be told that inner beauty is both visible and cherished, by a small child devoid of guile, is about the most fragrant compliment I think I could ever receive.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Proverbs 31:30 NKJV

As much as I enjoy sharing the story, I'm not doing so to parade the compliment, but because its poignancy makes such a startling point.

My very favorite activity of the whole week is Sunday morning worship and praise time. Praise was suppressed in my life for so very long that having now found release, it will no longer be contained. Even so, there's plenty of times I still allow distraction to just sufficiently detach me from the words I'm singing that the compliment to the Almighty becomes parroted words.

He still knows I see Him as beautiful. I know He loves to hear me tell Him so, and I do so as often as I'm moved to do so. I'm a great singer in the shower and car, but I also push myself to do a capella solos in the presence of witnesses—more courageous than you might think if you could hear my very average voice.

All that singing to God about His infinite attributes is sure to evoke His smile. Yet I can't help but think He finds highest compliment when we praise Him not for what He is and what He does, but for Who He is.

He surely melts when we offer the fragrant words devoid of guile, "Your heart is beautiful."

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  1. Don't you wish you could frame comments like Daniel's? How meaninful and I loved your application. I have an excellent shower voice as well! And I think God smiles when I sing worship songs to/for him b/c He knows I'm trying. :D
    ~ Wendy

  2. Praising God for WHO He is, not what He offers or does for us, is so important. I must pay attention to this more.

  3. I long to give the Lord that pure deserving love. I'm making a conscience effort to worship him for who he is whenever I can. It's been lovely.

  4. He deserves our praise always, in all ways.

  5. Wendy, I suppose this blog will have to do as a snapshot for his sweet remark.

    Eileen, I've also heard it expressed as seeking the face of God and not just His hand.

    T. Anne, it seems almost inevitable that our love for Him should grow more pure every day.

    Denise, "praise always, in all ways" is beautiful. Thanks!


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