Worship (when love is not awkward)

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!

Psalm 100:1-2


4 thoughts on “Worship (when love is not awkward)

  1. I always want to cry when I read your writings. In order to write with such insight you first have to see. See the nuances and the feelings behind the actions. You have a sensitivity rarely encountered. I remember the day my son dropped his hand from holding mine. He was 12. We were at the mall and he saw some older boys walking towards us. In order not to be embarrassed he dropped my hand. I understood and privately knew he loved me. Those boys. Yeah. They steal our hearts.

    • thank you for saying so Penny! It means a lot. I’ve heard boys return to open affection once they are older. I have that same feeling with my kiddos as they withdraw a little as they should growing up. There’s a little heartache, a little pride, and a whole lot of understanding. Sigh… xoxoxo –Kristi

  2. God has given you a gift with words; writing what has been written on your heart and soul. You unabashedly throw a healing balm to those in need (intended or not). Many and myself in particular, are unable to even gather thoughts as these, much less put them down on paper or print. I enjoy reading your offerings, and related scriptures God has used in your life. I held you in my arms when you were an infant, I would love meeting you as an adult. God bless you!

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