Last night was our first night where we didn't go outside to play. One of the things I have learned about boys is that they need time to run around, breathe fresh air, have freedom of movement and the space to let their imaginations become bigger than life. But yesterday it rained. And so we stayed inside. But it was hardly wasted time. I decided to go through my oldest son's clothes to see what he needed as cold weather approaches.
I never would have guessed that clothing boys could be such a delicate process. Yet boys can be very particular about what they wear. When there is disagreement my oldest has learned to protest, "Mom! That makes me look like a dork!" Since when do seven year olds care about being dorks?
It was such a relief to me as we began the process of going through Noah's clothes. Instead of complaining, Noah was actually excited. As we started trying on each pair of pants, it became apparent that last year's favorites were too small. I held my breath as we got to the ones that used to be over-sized; he had complained so much about them last fall, refusing to wear pants that had to be rolled up. Each pair slipped on easily, and fit perfectly. "Mom, these are so cool! I'm going to show Daddy!" I could hardly believe my ears as Noah said the words. Pair after pair he would go back and forth through the house, showing off his "new" wardrobe to his father. When we got to long sleeve shirts, it was the same story. What wasn't worth his time last year, last night he was excited to discover. Thus the fashion show continued until every piece had been tried on.
At the end of it all it turns out that we will probably only have to buy a couple of pairs of pants. I am immensely grateful. It may not seem like a big deal, but to me, it is a huge deal. I've been so lonely for a word of hope from the Lord. Here it shows up through the excitement of a seven year old boy who is glad to rediscover clothes in his closet. They fit: miracle! And he likes them: bigger miracle!!! I started to explain to him how wonderful it was when my voice caught. He looks at me and says, "Mommy are you going to cry again?!"
Well, yes. Probably. I feel like the weary wilderness sojourner who discovers Manna in the desert. In fact, the whole experience last night brought to mind a passage from Dueteronomy:
Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what is in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments. He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet did not swell these forty years (8:2-4).
I love that line that speaks of God providing clothes for His children that don't wear out, and non-swelling feet for them to walk on. What a tender picture of care, with patient attention to the details that could easily escape notice. But He notices. I am struck by the realization that He arranged it so that we bought more than we needed last year, when it was no big deal. I was aggravated at the time that the clothes were made far larger than the sizes indicated. It irked me that my son refused to wear the clothes I picked out for him; even though the shirts were a little baggy I thought they looked fine. I could not have imagined then what God had planned for those simple pants and shirts, that He was saving them for just the right time when my sweet boy would thank me for finding such "cool" clothes for him to wear. God is full of wonder.
I am heartened. While I know with my head that God never leaves us nor forsakes us, sometimes it's hard to feel that way. Sometimes I feel all alone, forgotten and forsaken. So I am very thankful for this practical reminder, a beautiful picture of God's grace. And I am eternally grateful that God cares enough to bring miracles from the closet that keep my sweet boy from looking like a dork! Wonders never cease.