Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You Are So Beautiful To Me

In honor of Valentine's Day, let's talk about love. I have a boyfriend, but don't tell my husband. My boyfriend is handsome and charming, funny and sweet. He has gorgeous blue eyes and a dimple. He also is only 4-feet tall and has a lisp. Oh, and don't worry; hubby knows that Jot is my "boyfriend".

A few weeks ago, as I stood folding laundry in the basement, I could hear someone messing around in the kitchen directly over my head. I heard the metalic clink of the utensils as someone rooted around in the drawer. I heard the cabinet doors open and shut. I heard the thud of a glass bowl on the counter.

I went to the stairway and shouted up, "Whoever is in the kitchen needs to get out. Snack time's over." Silence. Back to the laundry.

A few minutes later, I heard it again. Either I have really big rats or someone is not listening to me. I went to the stairway once more. "I will be coming up in a few minutes and if I find anyone in the kitchen, they will be in trouble." This time I heard frenzied whispering and the pounding of size-4 feet. A moment later, Jot appeared around the corner. He stood with his scrawny, 7-year old arms stretched between the edges of the door jamb. Crossing one foot over the other and tilting his head, he grinned at me.

"What are you doing?" I asked.


"So when I go up to the kitchen, I'm going to see 'nothing'?"

Jot just grinned and winked, made that click-click noise out of the side of his mouth that you expect from constructions workers with a roving eye. I figured it was high time I checked out exactly what was going on in my kitchen and attempted to by-pass Jot. He stood firm.

"Wait", he said and planted his feet.


Jot wrapped his little arms around my middle, gazed up at me with fluttering lashes and asked, "Mom, have I ever told you how beautiful you are?"

Now I could have bought into this charming micro-Cassanova, but I know the truth of Proverbs 26:23: Smooth talk from an evil heart is like glaze on cracked pottery. I've been around enough to know not to listen to empty words from my kids. Sometimes they speak genuine words of praise or thanks. Occasionally they will slip an give an honest compliment. But more often than not, if their words are too flowery, I can be sure that something's rotten in Denmark--or that there's a mess in my kitchen. My kids have taught me that empty words of praise are as useless as a pretty shine on a broken pot.

Do you ever find yourself praying the words you hope that God wants to hear so you can have your request answered in your favor? Do you ever let your mind wander while singing praises on Sunday morning and find you have no idea what you've sung for the last five minutes? Do you ever say a prayer, read your Bible, or quote Scripture from rote but not really feel it in your heart? Do you ever praise God with your mouth while your heart, mind and body wade through sin? Just like we don't like being patronized, neither does God.

The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men." Isaiah 29:13

Just in case you wondered, Jot and Jewel were making homemade grapefruit juice, complete with several cups of sugar. They cleaned it up and apologized--sincerely.

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