Unexpectedly the school year started with one campus becoming two. R and D’s drop offs became two different morning stories. Up until then, when the last car door shut, thirteen years R was the one to sing out “love you!” through rolled down window with ten years Dom looking back over his shoulder to be silently included, even as he walked to keep perception’s distance from the sentiment of it. R has long been shouting out these love yous with the confidence of one sure of her pleasing voice and place. D is still shifting in his seat to find it.
On the first day of school, R already dropped off, D heaved his backpack onto shoulders and turned to close the car door. Glancing up through his always overgrown hair he looked me in the eye and mumbled “love you”.
The huge of it punched my heart, swelling it to twice size. I had not insisted or expected so it was a gift doubly given. Since then he has week-daily gifted me with a shy but heart-meant handing over of his boyish love. It is quiet and hurried and just between us. I am filled to the brim by it. By his pushing past all that is rough and tumble boy in him to shyly step into a world of affection not fully his yet.
I think it is the same when we are sitting on soft hard pews on a Sunday morning. The music invites singing and I picture God leaning in to receive his gifted due. C with broader shoulders now at seventeen is past the point of worried by others. He moves and sings with worship made his own. R lifts head and hands with the certainty of having come to know her own voice and use it often. They are talking to their God and I am sure He is smiling at their song.
But I think God’s heart swells huge when D stands. Head down, peering through hair rarely brushed, he dips his toe in the water and seems to shy away a little from love seeming awkward. But it is there. Barely mouthed words that make up the “I love you” that worship is.
Quiet and hurried and just between him and his Maker.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!