The kids gather around the table like a Norman Rockwell painting. I can tell you why the man chose to paint. You could never really hear what’s coming off those lips.
I envy him.
They sit down to feast. For a moment I think it’s my cooking but in reality, they feast on each other.
We have a word for it, snarkasm.
My boys are so fond of it, they could be professionals and are self-described, “snarkastic.”
It’s a scary, possibly sinful blend of sarcasm and snark.
The oldest starts. He calls the brother a name and then like dominos they fall into the one-upmanship that is snarkasm.
They pull it all out and lay it on the table.
Their dad and I can barely catch a breath defending this one roaring and that one retorting.
Like mama used to say, “it’s all fun, until someone gets hurt.” And they did. The jabs went a little too far and finally someone bled. You see it in the silent tears. Stopping in the laughter; we all now sit quiet.
Words can build cathedrals of hope and promise, but even quicker they can destroy hearts and healthy esteem.
The daddy and I reel them in and ask they start building each other back up. We want one thing positive out of each mouth about at least one sibling. The snarkers fall silent.
The eldest takes charge and builds his compliment with enough humor to almost drown it but still manages to float long enough to please.
The next one goes and the next. But one, one lone soul at the table, the one that had shed a few tears cannot muster a word. That is the power of words. If you fill a mind with enough negative, the heart becomes mute.
The tribe sees this. They rally around the now silent child. They repair and recite all the positives they know and had chosen not to say.
I get it.
I can find a hundred blessings in a single day if I choose to look, but blindness often takes the first turn.
It is that one worry, that one irritating out of control situation, the child that keeps me up at night, the one thing I can’t get done; blind, deaf and dumb to all He has done; all He has said and all He has promised.
Isn’t it these very things, these things that make us feel small that should cause us to crave big, to forget the lack and remember the fulfillment and the Fulfiller.
The One that allowed our lack or our doubt or our short gives us the appetite for abundance.
We look into ourselves, when our focus should be our Savior. We run for the gap; I need to run to the gap filler. He fills and satisfies and overflows us with grace.