“Hi, hope you like my mask, can I have a $20 bill? What? You’re
not handing out twenties, just fives? Ok, I’ll just take two. Thanks. Oh yeah,
smell my feet. See ya next year.”
Well, we know that’s not exactly how it works, nevertheless my son Andy
was a little more than 3 years old and picked-out his costume weeks ahead of
time. He is one of millions of kids who love the “Toy Story” films, and he
couldn’t wait to be Buzz Lightyear. That costume was hanging in his room for
weeks. (His poor little brother got to wear the hand me down lion suit. He liked it even less than his brother the year before).
The big day came, so about 5:00 I say,“Andy, its time to get your costume
on, ready to be Buzz Lightyear?” Wish I had known ahead of time the reaction I would get. I don’t know where it came from, but it was like poking a wasp’s nest with a stick. He freaked. “No, no I don’t want to wear it!” The cute little guy had apparently developed quite a disdain for Buzz Lightyear. So like any parent would do, I first tried to calmly talk him into it. Failure.
Then, I decided to demand he put it on. Failure.
Then I went back to approach number one. “Andy, sweetheart, please wear the Buzz costume.” Failure. His mood was not improving.
“Andy, you love Buzz, why don’t you want to wear this?”
My plea was met with tears. Poor guy. I didn’t know why he was so sad, or terrified, or angry...especially since the day before he was so excited. Today, he was really against the whole thing. Then, an idea. I don’t know if it was inspiration from God, my own parental savvy, or just some natural instinct a daddy has for his children, but I switched gears.
“Andy,” I said. “Let’s go upstairs and try it on, I think you’ll be pleased.”
Well, he didn’t like this idea much either, but since he was less hysterical now, I figured he was warming up to the idea. I now had a plan.
“Come on buddy.” I carried him up the stairs as tears rolled down his
cheeks. The Buzz Lightyear costume had never looked so weak and unimpressive thrown over a dad’s shoulder. Andy whimpered as we neared the top of the stairs. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of my dear wife Najwa struggling to put that silly lion suit on Brady. Andy and I raced on, and I thought, “If I can just get him in front of that big mirror this will all change.”
I took Andy in the bathroom and said, “Buddy, will you put on the
costume?” He paused, and shook his head “no.”
I pleaded, “Andy, please let daddy do this, ok?” And with that, he stopped fighting me. I placed his little feet in the Buzz Lightyear pants and next pushed his arms through the shirt, pulled the top over his head, and buttoned him up. Standing before me was a 34-inch tall superhero with snot running down his nose and bed head from a recent nap. He still was not happy, but I knew that was about to change. I lifted Andy, turned him around, and placed him in front of the biggest mirror in our home. It covered the length of the bathroom wall. I stood him on the counter, and as I held him tightly to keep him from falling into the sink, little Andy slowly, almost defiantly lifted his head to see himself in the mirror. My plan had worked. The smile on his face forced the corners of his mouth to touch his ears, and Andy took a long, good look at himself in the mirror. “Daddy, look at me. Wow!”
That’s what I wanted. You see, I learned that day while Andy was crying,
wanting nothing to do with my plan for him, or even my assistance, that what he needed was to see himself the way I saw him. I knew how Andy could look, and would look. I saw in him what he had not yet seen for himself. I knew if I could only get him in front of that mirror and let him get a good look at himself the way I saw him, he would love it.
The book of Ephesians has a beautiful verse in the second chapter: “For
we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” God sees us as His masterpiece. We often mope around, crying about being unhappy with who we are, and don’t trust God for what He wants us to be. What will it take for us to realize, God wants us to see ourselves the way He sees us? As hard as it is to believe, He sees us as His masterpiece, knowing every hair numbered on our head.
I hope we’ll let God dress us up, turn us around, and stand us
in front of the mirror. Believe it, there will be a heavenly reflection. I think
we’d be sure to say, “Daddy, look at me. Wow!”