Something happened yesterday deep in my heart. People were all around me when it happened, but no one could have known it. Lately I have invested a lot of time in our youngest son, Wesley. He is thirteen and has had the opportunity to play football for the first time. He starts as quarterback for the varsity team in our Downriver Community football league. When we committed to playing football, we set limits. He would not play on Wednesday nights or on Sundays. Those days are reserved for the Lord and for involvement in our church, but we have invested many hours in Wes this fall watching practice and arranging our schedule and meetings so he knows he has our love and support.
I have personally spent hours of time and energy and discussion and thought in Wesley. I’m happy for the opportunity, because I frequently pray that God will show me ways to show my love for him and ways to grow in love for him.
He is fast. He has a strong arm. He is big, but he has really not developed a “killer instinct” yet. He is not particularly violent. I think he would rather run around someone than run over them. He is not eager to tackle or be tackled.
Along with being the quarterback and the punter, he is also punt and kick-off return man. I have preached to him to take the ball up the middle. He tried to get outside and go up the sidelines but he has not had the blocking he needs and his lateral running just gives the other team time to gang up and tackle him.
Yesterday he took a kick and headed up the middle breaking tackles and gaining impressive yardage. He ran about fifteen or twenty yards up the middle until he was met head-on by the biggest, strongest player on the other team. You could hear the collision all over the stadium. He went down hard. A loud cheer went up from the stands on the other side of the field. He lay on the ground for what seemed like forever. I stood up, not breathing, my heart pounding.
Finally, he got up slowly and jogged back to the huddle to call the next play. In that moment my heart was stirred with a deep, deep love for him, a sweet love and compassion for my son. It is not something I can explain, but it is something I cherish, like an answer to prayer, like a gift from God.
I wonder if that is what my Heavenly Father feels when I take a hard hit and get up slow. Does he stand up and hold his breath? Does his heart pound? Does his heart ache when he hears the roar that comes up from my enemies? (Written in the Fall of 2008)
January 12, 2009