My wife and I were talking last night about our childhoods. One of my memories (actually a whole set of memories) was of the Wayne Burke family that lived across the street from my family when I was a little boy. Wayne was a lawyer, then a judge. Opal was an schoolteacher. The two boys were a few years older than I. When I think back on all the times when they included me in their own family life, there is one theme which I recognize over and over again: They respected me.
When I was about five, I wrote a song book. I made lots of pages, stapled them together, drew lines on them, and sprinkled notes aimlessly. I had no idea what the notes meant but I thought I was making pretty neat looking pages. I showed Wayne, who looked at my music and began to sing. His singing was beautiful! When he stopped, he put down my little book and told me I had done a good job. I still remember being amazed.
Many times over the years one or another of the family would do or say something that made me think I was okay. It didn’t tempt me to be proud because I was too busy being grateful.
Surely there is some lesson about the love of God there, no?