“I don’t sing and I don’t dance!” Caleb proclaims.
“Come on, Caleb,” Jake coaxes. “Let’s dance!”
“I don’t sing and I don’t dance!” Caleb counters.
“Come on, Caleb. You know you can do it!” Jake persists.
“I don’t sing and I don’t dance!!!” Caleb shouts.
This colorful and precious exchange occurs two or three times in our house each week between our younger two boys. No exaggeration.
Something stirs Jake’s dancing spirit, and he turns to his younger brother and says, “Come on, Caleb! It’s time to dance!”
Caleb will consistently respond with an emphatic “I don’t sing and I don’t dance” reply. It wasn’t always this way. Our third born son was once the most prolific singer and dancer of the family. The kid loves music. He always has. However, a day came, not so long ago, when Caleb decided to stop singing and dancing; except on the occasions when he’s by himself (dancing and singing in the garden) or when Jake’s coaxing wins out. In those particular moments, Caleb will take hold of Jake’s hands and the two of them will happily swing each others arms and sway back and forth in joyful abandon. They smile. They giggle. They dance. And they don’t care who is watching.
I love that.
Being home with these two boys, almost 24-7; is truly the most amazing thing. I’ve made homeschooling Jake and Caleb and building into their moral, ethical, and social character my top priority. I won’t say it’s a proverbial walk in the park. It’s not. No way. However, for this time, for this season, for this childhood time frame of Jake and Caleb, I will be here for as long as it takes. For now, this is one of my most central purposes in life; to love them, to guide them, to delight in them, and to grow with them.
If you have read anything from me before, I’m not really writing anything new. However, I take the time to write my feelings and relate different childhood stories for my boys to read one day in the future. It’s good to look back and reflect upon the joyful moments we shared; even when Caleb is adamant that he doesn’t sing and he doesn’t dance anymore. Because it’s not completely true. When love and joy converge, singing and dancing follow in this house.
This is true with the relationship we share with our Father in Heaven.
The LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 NIV
I can’t say how it all works down here on earth or up in heaven either. However, what I will say is that when singing and dancing erupt in the Witherow house…there’s rejoicing, singing and dancing in heaven too.
How could I possibly write that?
Because the singing and dancing I witness in my boys is a pure love and a pure joy.
How could their love for and joy with each other not be an expression of the love they receive and experience from their God?
My God is present in Jake and Caleb’s lives.
My God takes great delight in my sons.
My God rejoices over my boys with singing.
My God quiets them with His love and blesses them with Himself.
I need to remind myself of this truth.
Sometimes, I feel so incredibly responsible for these two sweet gifts from heaven. As many of you know, they are both on the autism spectrum. They view this world with a unique, God-given perspective. And sadly, the world doesn’t always view them with the same appreciation, love, or joy that they have to share with it. As their mom, that reality has shattered my heart on more than one occasion. So, reading the words from Zephaniah, encourage and comfort me as Jake and Caleb’s mom.
Just as I am smiling and sometimes even joining into the singing and dancing, my God is singing and dancing with my boys; All.The.Time.
He’s their constant dance partner.
He’s their fellow accompanist.
He’s their masterful music conductor.
No matter what is ahead for these two, my God, their God, is with them. And not only that, He takes great delight in them; just as they are. He will guide and direct them into what He wants them to become here on earth, for eternity, and for the glory of His Name.
Caleb may tell you that he doesn’t sing or dance anymore. However, for Caleb and Jake’s God, that’s an entirely different story.
Caleb and Jake have a Heavenly Father who is singing over them.
He is doing the same for you, for your family, for your children, for your grandchildren, for your friends, and for the whole world.
The love and delight of our God serenade us with an eternal song of devotion.
Can you hear the song of delight that your God is singing over you?
Jake and Caleb can. I see the comfort, refreshment and glee they take in each other, in our family, and in our God from their God’s own love song.
I pray you do too! For just as Jake coaxes Caleb to dance with him, our God is coaxing us to listen to His love song for us too. His melodies bring peace, refreshment, blessing, and joy…so much so that if you listen, you can’t help but to break into song and dance just like the Witherow boys!
Caleb knows. He can’t help himself; when the times of rejoicing begin! He will tell you : “Mom. I’m so happy!”
I hope we can’t stifle that kind of merciful, God-given joy, either!
Listen! Can you hear the song of delight your God is singing?