I don’t often stop to think about how much Jesus loves me. I know that He loves me in the larger sense of, oh, say, bearing the brunt of God’s wrath on the cross for me, but in the day-to-day dailiness of life, I don’t know that I am often gripped by that thought.
It may be a sign that I need to reinvigorate my spiritual life.
It may also be a sign that most days I’m just flat out tired and thinking deep thoughts, spiritual or otherwise, is challenging.
Can I get an “Amen” from other moms of many loud children?
I knew I could.
Yesterday, though, Jesus broke through the busyness of life to tell me that He loved me, and He did it at Chick-fil-A.
I don’t know about you, but there’s something that just makes me happy about going to The Chick. It’s always full of people that look like me (crazy-haired moms with a boatload of kids are not out of the norm), the staff is nice, the restaurant is always clean, and no one thinks twice about you bringing your child of the opposite sex into the bathroom with you. It’s really kinda’ like eating at your mama’s house.
That is, if your mama made peach milkshakes.
I took the boys there yesterday to celebrate a clean bill of health at the dentist’s office (and believe me, with three mouths that love Jelly Bellys and Oreos, it’s no small feat), and the manager immediately made me smile when she offered to take my tray to the table (I had Travis in his wheelchair – she was so kind to notice that my hands were full). While we were eating, no less than three people stopped by to ask how things were going, asked the kids how their dentist visit had gone (they were proudly wearing their tooth stickers) and generously offered to refill our cups.
I kept looking around to see if Mr. Truett Cathy was in town, but I didn’t see him and trust me, I know what he looks like because his face is always smiling at me on the sign that announces the store is closed on Sunday.
As I’m trying to open the door.
As we were finishing our Ice Dream cones, I noticed the darkening clouds (we’ve been in a daily afternoon thunderstorm pattern this week) so I told the boys it was time to load up and get to the car. As we started to leave the restaurant, I could see the drops beginning to splat on the sidewalk. We started to make a run for it, but halfway across the parking lot, the bottom dropped out of the sky, and the boys started screaming and laughing as I fumbled for my car keys to unlock the car to let them in. Since I had to lift Travis out of his wheelchair to place him in the car (and then load the chair), it was looking like he and I were going to have to join the drowned rat club.
It’s on occasions like this that it’s so easy to throw myself a pity party and think “If my child weren’t disabled, we wouldn’t have to be standing in the rain. He wouldn’t have to get soaked. My hair wouldn’t be plastered to my head and my clothes to my body. We could have climbed into the car by ourselves and we’d all be merrily on our way.” As I fumbled with his seatbelt, I felt my attitude starting to spiral downward and darken as the sky above me. The beginnings of a grumble began to form in the back of my throat.
But before that grumble had time to be released in all its frustrated ugliness, I noticed all of a sudden that I wasn’t getting wet, which struck me as odd because I could hear and see the rain falling all around. I looked up to see what was blocking the rain, and there, above my head, was a huge black and white cow-spotted umbrella. I turned around to see its handle being held by one of the employees with whom we had interacted while we ate.
I kid you not, I started to cry. Big, fat tears that took both of us by surprise.
Tears in response to the overwhelming love of Jesus that I was experiencing at that exact moment.
Jesus, in a Chick-fil-A uniform, watching out for me when He didn’t have any rhyme or reason to do so.
Jesus, in a Chick-fil-A uniform, seeing my need and running to me.
Jesus, in a Chick-fil-A uniform, sheltering me from the storm.
Jesus loves me, this I know.
A black and white cow told me so.
Have a nice day.