There's a concept in psychology called "reframing" where you take what would be considered a negative circumstance or quality in a person and you reframe it into something positive. For instance, instead of remarking how stubborn someone is, you could focus on their determination, personal integrity, and focus. Instead of focusing on how argumentative someone is, you can reframe that into a positive quality, such as being able to think for themselves.
Enter "reframing" into the world of toddlerhood.
My son has the most giving heart for such a small little boy. He loves to give things: his legos, his blocks, down to the soggiest piece of cracker on his plate. He wants to give it to you, and he really doesn't understand why you don't want to take it.
Anyone who has a toddler can understand mealtime dilemmas. They want to feed themselves; you'd
like to not drop half of a perfectly good meal on the floor. They want to touch, feel, grab their food and then put it in their mouths. You'd like to not have a(nother) giant mess to clean up. But in the midst of them squeezing the macaroni and carrots in their fingers, they gain so much. You gain something else, also: another load of friggin laundry.
Today, Jminator's eyes lit up; he really, really, really wanted to share his tortilla and cheese with me. He had already taken several slobbery bites of it, and re-dipped it in the cheese more than once as well. But he really thought that this bite should be in my mouth.
What did I do? You bet your sweet ass I ate it. Followed by another piece of clean tortilla without slobbered cheese, and a giant sip of water (I'm only human.)
But for a second, I saw it. He wanted to give. And he gave the only little thing that he had; his lunch, to his momma.
Then I thought for a minute, and it just about brought me to tears. This is it, isn't, God? Our fumbling little offerings, our minutes of praise during the day, our day-to-day prayers, our longingness to give something. Problem is; I have nothing. I'm not eloquent. I'm not wealthy. I'm not popular, or even really that good-looking. There's nothing that I could really even offer anyone else, let alone the Perfect Father.
I thought about the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 people. everyone left and followed Jesus and was so caught up in His teaching, they forgot to pack anything. Now, miles from town. the only person who was willing to give anything was a small boy. He was willing to give his lunch, even when he knew he would go hungry that day. His heart was simply, "You can have this, Jesus" knowing it wasn't much, but at least maybe Jesus wouldn't go hungry.
That kind of unselfishness is so rare. I love that J wants to give. I pray that it continues and that he sees what he is giving as the most awesome thing in the entire world. Because to his momma, that soggy tortilla was incredible.