In The Child

My dad has always had the crazy ability to dance his eyebrows up and down and all around.  He can raise one…raise the other…raise both and then roll them like the waves.  It’s funny and fascinating and maybe a little bit creepy.  I love it.

When I was in high school, I realized I had the ability to do it, too.  I could keep my face totally deadpan save for one eyebrow raised high above the other.  My friends would get onto me, telling me not to make that face at them while they were talking.  I couldn’t help it.  Once I knew I could do it, it became a natural way for me to express myself.  I loved it, not just because it was unusual but because it was something that only my dad and I shared.  No one else in our family could do it….

…..until about a year or so ago.  I said something to my then three year old daughter, and she responded with the simple raising of one eyebrow.  I squealed with delight, pulled out my camera, and made a video so she could see what she had done.  As she and I watched the video again and again, laughing at her silly eyebrows, I remember feeling a strange sense of pride.  What I was seeing in her had come straight from me.  It wasn’t anything I had taught her to do, but the strange ability to do it had emerged from her genetic makeup without warning and without provocation.  Because my husband and none of the other grandparents can boast “the eyebrow,” I could say without hesitation, “That’s me in her.  She gets that from me.”

I feel a sense of pride and connection and, yes, ownership when I look at my daughter’s inherited quirks.  It’s genetics at work.  I can’t explain it, but I certainly can’t deny it, either.  She is my child, and I am in her.  She raises one eyebrow in surprise or confusion or just to make somebody laugh, and there it is.

“I’m in there.  Can you see me in there?  That right there, that she just did?  That’s me.  Do you see it?  She got that from me.”

I would like to think that my Heavenly Father looks on me and thinks similar thoughts.  I like to imagine that there are things in me that show up in random situations on random days, reflecting my Father and showing how He is in me.

I stop to spend time with a stranger who seems to need a friend.

I encourage the cashier at who is learning to use the new registers at WalMart.

I ask my server at Panera how she is feeling, remembering that she was sick last week with a cold.

I buy something special for my husband to snack on, just because I think he’d like it, even though I have to put back something I was going to get for myself in order to afford it.

I offer to help my neighbor carry things inside because it’s starting to rain.

And I imagine that in those moments, my Father looks on me and cannot deny His ownership of me as His child.  The resemblance is uncanny.

I’m in there.  Can you see it?  That thing she just did….that was all me.  She got that from me.  She is my child, and I am her Father.  She could only get that from me.

I think ultimately, that’s what this life as a follower of Christ is all about.  As He constantly reminded the world who His Father was, so should we always point to the Father in the things we do and say.  As we follow Jesus, it should be our goal to look a little bit more like our Father with every day that passes.  There should be more and more signs of His influence in our makeup.  There should be more and more moments of undeniable resemblance.

There she is.  I’m her Father and she’s my child.  Can you see it?  Of course you can.  She looks just like me.  

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