Looking For A Sign

Looking For A Sign

The first in a short series of posts on thanksgiving.

Every adult likely has a story about the time they got in trouble the WORST.  That time they drew pictures all over the walls with permanent markers or flushed their dad’s expensive watch down the toilet.

When I was about four years old I committed my WORST.

I crossed the creek.

I will never, ever, ever forget this infringement upon my mother’s rules.  She made sure of that.  I still remember the red mickey mouse bouncy ball I was bent over as she helped me never forget.

We still bring up this memory and we laugh.  As a mother I know now how frightening it must have been for a mother of a preschooler to live with a creek in the back yard.  As tempting as that other side was to my adventurous four year old self, the waters represented real danger to my mother.  I would say the punishment fit the crime…and the represented danger.

However, even though I would classify this dramatic scene as the WORST of my boundary pushing there was one move I knew would always elicit the parental rage.  It was spouting off a favorite saying of many adolescents and preteens:


I only remember saying this a few times, but the response, although specifics are fuzzy, was so severe I learned quickly that this was probably not the way to go.

It was only four little words.  No actions.  What was so frustrating about this declaration to my parents?  Huh.  I didn’t really get it.

There is a verse in the bible I have always related to with similar perplexity.  In the first part of Matthew 16:4 Jesus says: “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign…”

What’s the big deal.

Is it so bad to ask for a sign?  Can’t God do that pretty easily?

Huh.  I don’t get it.

Welp, fast forward a decade or two and here I am as a parent annnnnnnd…I think I get it.

I don’t love you?

Have you seen how hard I work to put food on the table?

Have you seen how I will drop everything in a nanosecond to spend time with you?

Have you seen what lengths I will go to in order to allow you to explore any interest?

Do you notice the books I read, the prayers I send up, the playdates I arrange, the doctor and dentist appointments I make?

What do you mean I don’t love you?

You might as well slap me across the face.

My entire life has become about loving you.

Let me be frank.  I haven’t heard these four words from my children yet.  I assume it will happen some day in a moment of their adolescent angst.  I am already bracing myself for it.

Annnnnnd I already get it.

Then I realize….I see…I get the picture…about the sign.

Have you seen how I make the stars twinkle for you?

How about the colors on that tree in autumn?

Did you hear the encouraging words from that friend this afternoon?

What about the food on your table?  What job provided that and Who gave it to you?

On your walk the other day did you notice the butterfly that showed up?  Or the birds singing sweetly as you passed?

Did you wonder at how you met your mate?  Or at the beauty and health of your children?

Remember when you woke up this morning and realized things were going to be ok?

When you face hardship and trials that are inevitably part of this life on earth how about those small comforts and encouragements that come your way?

And, then, of course there is that other thing I did.

I died for you.

What do you mean I don’t love you?

What do you mean you want a SIGN?

You might as well slap me across the face.

My entire life has become about loving you.

My entire existence proves Myself to you.


Yes, I get it.

As a parent, I finally understand how this attitude from a child is such a wicked thing.


So this November, this beautiful, sweet November, I choose to look for the signs all around me…signs that are put in front of me at every turn on every day.  I choose to open my eyes and see and recognize and say THANK YOU.

You love me well…extraordinarily, gorgeously, lavishly well.