I remember coming home from work, and there was my son, lying on his stomach in the living room. He was surrounded by crayons and pieces of paper.
“What are you doing, son?”
“I’m working,” he said resolutely, his tongue pushed toward his cheek with a look of intensity that meant business. “Really hard.”
20 minutes later he produced an elaborately colored picture. “I used every crayon,” he announced. “Do you like it?”
“Of course, I do,” I said, surveying the elaborate details of the labor of love. “It’s the best!
“Do you see Josh?” referring to his baby brother. The little oblong circle with four sticks coming out of him looked like a turtle, but I could see the impressionist artist within.
“I drew mommy,” he said proudly.
She had flowing blue hair that reached to the ground with a radiant wardrobe, rich in color and detail.
I started looking for me, my insecurities rising. “And here you are,” he pointed. I didn’t get the same grand treatment. I looked more like the family pet, standing on his hind legs. I even had floppy ears. But none of that mattered. It was a work of art and it was going on the refrigerator.
As time went on, that refrigerator held many achievements. Report cards, ribbons, pictures from t-ball, notes from coaches and Scouting merit badge cards. The refrigerator was the family billboard, screaming of achievement.
That family applause of achievement never really ends. We cheer our children as they grow. Education, jobs, promotions and then kids of their own. The refrigerator is never really empty.
That’s what I want to hear – and what any kid deep down inside want to hear. “I’m proud of you. You’ve done well.”
I wonder if when we get to heaven, God will have a refrigerator. What accomplishments will he hang? What matters to Him? I just want to hear those words: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”