Monday, May 24, 2010

Wise Words

My eight year old friend, McLaren Jansen, comes up with the most insightful and endearing comments on a regular basis.  Not long ago, his mother (and my friend), told me a about one of their "Taylor" exchanges.  We are in and out of their house a good bit.  McLaren and his little sister each have their own interaction and relationship with my about-to-be 26 year old man child son.  Just awarded "Most Compassionate" for his 2nd grade class,  McLaren accepts Taylor lovingly---if not with a bit of "I'm not quite sure about this guy, but I'm going to damn well love him."  It's really touching.  McLaren reaches out to Taylor--at a restaurant, in the pool, while riding in the car---and Taylor is often silent.  Still McLaren presses on--with questions, with chatter, trying to involve Taylor like he would a regular 'ole 2nd grade buddy.  Last week McLaren, in seeing a photo of Taylor on his mother's computer, commented, "I love Taylor.  Everybody should love Taylor.  Taylor does no harm."  Breathe that in.  He does no harm.  Although that sounds at first hearing so benign, those words have grown on me and have forged a certain sort of comfort around them. McLaren "gets" the essence of Taylor.  He does no harm.  He has no agenda or judgements. Taylor sees us just as we are---fat legs, bad hair, grumpy moods, wrinkled shirts and all.  No harm done.  No harm felt.
     Last night McLaren taught me another lesson---another gem.  In relating something to his mother McLaren remarked, "You can't be mad at me for talking so much, mama.  My talking is a compliment from God."  A compliment from God.  A part of our personality that may tend to chaff others---a compliment from God.  Breathe into that concept too.  I mean, who has ever thought of a "bad" trait like that as a gift---from God? (Did anybody else gets Cs in citizenship for talking too much??)  My head was sent to swirling in thinking about how all parts of ourselves are compliments from God.  Even the traits that get us into trouble or the parts that we have hated ourselves for having.   I mean, how long have you tried to get rid of something in yourself? Can't you just hear your mother or sister or friend accusing you of, "You are so bossy or sarcastic or insecure or nosey or rude or arrogant or aloof......." And then we beat ourselves up because we're not perfect and we have all of these "bad" parts that we should get rid of . 
Well, listen to McLaren (and other great teachers.)  All parts of ourselves are compliments from God.  We need each trait and harder than that....we need to love each trait----yep---even our jealousy and anger and discontent.  Even those traits we try to bury and deny.  Those hard ones---the ones we hide.  You know what I'm talking about, don't you? 
     McLaren and Taylor are on the same page in so many ways.  Taylor has been complimented by God with so many qualities.  He just lives them out without arguing or trying to fix them.  The rest of a whole lot of time trying to fix stuff in ourselves that is not even broken. 
We are not flawed.
We are whole, complex, beings.
And God has complimented each of us in so many unique ways.
Believe McLaren.  You and I ---all of us....each of us....has been complimented by God.
I love that. 
Now I'm going to try to live that.