Sunday, 3 April 2016

Wonder-full Surprise? Or Do You Know What's Hiding in the Box?

I see the way she looks at him, and it melts my heart. 

I tell him that there's fairy dust sprinkled in every step he takes. 

I wonder if he sees it too. If he understands... if he fully grasps the awesome responsibility he carries. 

Having someone look at me like that would make me careful. I would take great care in what I said, and what I did, always mindful to live right... to lead her well. It would be a 'burden' I wouldn't take lightly.

I wonder if he understands. I try to remind him not to mess up. Secretly, I pray that he doesn't ever disappoint her. 

But I'm wrong. 

It's not a responsibility to shoulder... a burden to bear. The way my daughter looks at her daddy is quite simply a gift she bestows on him. A gift that looks beyond his actions... accepts him as he is... always taking the best and kindest view of him, always hoping, always believing, always trusting. A gift of childlike love for her daddy.

I pray she never loses that sense of wonder. And I pray that we all can love like that. 

We are all fearfully and wonderfully made... each of us a masterpiece... expertly and lovingly crafted in the Master's hands. We see that clearly when we gaze at a newborn baby... everything is so new... each interaction so filled with anticipation and excitement. A gift from the Lord... exquisitely designed and wonderfully complex, each layer unwrapped yields a special treat... a surprise. 

But, as they age... as we age... the polish fades and the luster gets smudged... and our eyes and heart... they forget. Forget to look with wonder on the one created in the image of God. 

We stop looking for the hidden surprise and see only what we expect to see. We start building boxes around the people in our lives. 
'There's a surprise or two hiding in everyone, and if you put them in a box, you'll never get to see it.' The Growly Books  - Begin 
Perhaps, it's our need for order or our inability to fully appreciate the beautifully mysterious complexities of each other... maybe a survival instinct... whatever the reason, we build boxes. 

I've been there... in a box... at the end of someone's wonder-less gaze, and it's not always pleasant. 

Sure, there are some boxes I don't mind - you know, 'attentive mom, passionate about her kids' - that's great! But, 'rules-based mom, who can't relax' - not so nice! 

Mostly, being placed in a box is... well... stifling. 

It cramps me. Makes me feel unable to spread my wings and fly... be the me I'm becoming... because in that box I'm the me that was. And there is no room to grow... no grace extended for me to wriggle free. Robbed of my chance to change and grow and flourish... that's how I feel when I'm trapped in a box of someone's making. 

So, why? Why do I do it to others?

Why can't I see others the way my daughter sees my husband? With that willingness to believe the best... looking for the surprise in every encounter? With full acceptance for who they are and who they are becoming... wholly believing that they are full of wonder and brimming with unexpected surprises.

There's a surprise or two hiding in everyone. Are you looking for it? (Tweet this
I want to be like Merridy in our latest read-aloud who 'always seemed to look for the surprises in everything around her, and with endless joy and wonder, ...always seemed to find them... Everyone who met her felt a little bit greater afterward, because she always seemed to find something wonderful in you that you had never realized was there.'    

That is a gift I would love to give to others... to put aside my automatic reactions based on rude assumptions about who I think they are and to simply see them and appreciate them for who they really are, while giving them room to grow and become who God designed them to be. 

Isn't that the way God sees us?  We are all fully known yet loved with a never-ending always and forever love. 

My prayer for me... for you... for us all is that out of His glorious riches God may strengthen us with power 'to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ' and that we would joyfully share that love with others. 

What a gift that would be!


  1. Hi Carlie, it is truly a gift to be loved of God. I appreciate your transparency and openness.
    Thank you for visiting earlier. It is so nice to visit your space too.
    Hugs and Blessings to you

    1. Thanks so much, Ifeoma. It's so encouraging to visit like this. Have a blessed day!

  2. This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing this. I loved reading it.

    1. Thanks so much, Jennifer! And thanks for dropping by.

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  4. What a beautiful sentiment. To be able to step out of that "box" and see people for what they are--without assumptions or judgments is a feat, and something we should all strive to do daily, and your post is a lovely reminder of that. Thanks for sharing such an inspirational post with us on #shinebloghop. So glad you were able to join us this week, Carlie!

    1. Maria, thank you for your sweet encouragement. It is really difficult, but what a gift when we actually can do it. So grateful that with God even this is possible. Have a great day!

  5. This is beautiful. My daughter loves her daddy so much. She tells everyone she is going to marry him when she's older and dance at the ball! (She's four and in love with princesses, as well!)

    1. Wouldn't it be wonderful if nothing could smudge that sense of wonder that they have? Thanks for stopping by; have a blessed day.

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  7. Carlie, I know the feeling of being put in a box and it doesn't sit well with me either. I'm so thankful that God sees beyond what we were to what He made us to be! I pray to see others with His eyes -- full of wonder and love!
    Thank you for this beautiful post!

    1. Thanks, Marva! you're always so encouraging!

  8. Great points here, Carlie. This post caught my attention because my daughter adores her daddy, too!
    I need to be much more careful not to place people in boxes and to see them each through God's heart. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Shannon, thanks for dropping by. We have a joke in my extended family that we are in the 'box-building' business, so this post was written as a reminder to me as well. Blessings to you and thanks again for the encouragement.


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