Monday, January 23, 2017
The Language of Love
When it comes to interacting with children, I am quite a disciplinarian. Many children, who do not wish to be obedient, tend to avoid close relationships with me; I’m okay with that, because I really don’t have great patience for uncooperative, undisciplined children.
My lack of interaction with the children of my local church has been observed by many; however, no one has ever confronted me about it. The children speak kindly to me, as we pass, and on rare occasions, we will chat briefly and continue on, in our separate directions.
That having been said, several of the women my age, in the congregation where I attend, have been taken aback at the warm and adoring relationship that has developed between me and two little girls (ages 4 and 7), of a different ethnicity. Since they began attending our congregation, they have clung to my husband and me like glue.
Just this past weekend, on three different occasions, women in my age group, commented to me about my relationship to the girls, what might be our possible kinship and even their envy concerning the attention the youngest one seems to bestow upon me, quite unashamedly.
Over the holidays, I had invited them, along with their parent and grandparent to our home for a family night gathering, which originally was only supposed to be for our daughters, their spouses and our grandchildren. Theirs was the only attendance that was not tied by blood kinship on either side of the family. We had a very good time. At the end of the evening, I gave both of the girls’ aprons and instructions for those aprons. They were to bring them back to my house, at a set time and just the three of us would bake cookies together.
Finally, cookie day arrived – it was today. Their father brought them down, right on time. Then he began to chat with me (which normally would be okay), but after a while, when the girls began to get that bored look, I kindly explained to him that he and my husband would have to hang out together today, this was the girls’ time and we had work to do. He understood and immediately, he and my husband left the premises.
The plan was that the girls and I would make the cookies, then we would watch video clips as they baked and return home with them for supper. Of course, we would carry the cookies for dessert.
Their grandmother, who speaks very little English, had made a delicious dinner for us. So we ate and drank together; the girls shared with me their personal picture albums that centered on their birth experiences, their toddler years and the time they had spent with their now deceased mother. We had a lovely evening together.
As I sit here reminiscing about the beauty of the day, I am reminded of how awe-filled the language of love truly is. Despite the age differences; despite the ethnic differences; despite the language differences, we all communicated beautifully and thoughtfully together. There were no un-pleasantries; no misunderstandings; no ill-will of any kind. In a world, where racial differences are still so prominent, we were able to completely lose sight of that difference and all others of any kind. Again, I am reminded that we could do it because we all spoke the same spiritual language – the language of love.