Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Flying Skoal

Yes, that's "Flying Skoal, (as in the round, green can, smaller than a donut but a whole lot heavier) not "Flying School." In this week of Valentines and love, God sent me a message via "air mail." It took me a little while to sift out the message, but I think I've got it. Let me explain.

Jeff was out of town, and I had taken the kids out to pick up Chinese takeout. I was waiting for the order in our favorite Lotus Garden, when I noticed the only other customers were a couple at a table near the door. By the time our order was ready and in the brown paper bag, the couple was getting up from their seats. I don't know what their relationship was, but they were in the same age range, and he tossed the cash on the table (yes, I notice those things). He was a large man wearing dark sweats and a coordinating t-shirt and hooded sweatshirt, with a heavy beard as an accessory. I thought she looked tired. With our brown bag in hand, the kids reached the door first, while the couple and I sort of converged on the entrance at the same time. The lady pushed the door open first and didn't look back as I followed her through, assuming the man was behind me, though a few steps behind. As I put my hand on the door and moved through the entrance, something flew past my face, nearly missing my cheek. A green blur landed with a clank on the pavement in front of our two cars, parked side by side. In about as long as it takes to pluck a stray eyebrow, I turned and looked at the towering man to see him looking straight past me (I told myself it was PAST me) with an irritated look, and I noticed that the projectile had settled where it fell. It was a can of green Skoal chewing tobacco. Nameless lady didn't seem to realize that her companion had just sent Flying Skoal aimed at her, nearly hitting me in the head, as she went to open her car door next to mine. I clutched my eggrolls defensively; I never thought about throwing them back at him; I was insulted, but hungry. Blowing past me in a hot wind, the "Thrower" with bad aim roared into his driver's seat, slamming his door, and imprisoning his partner inside. I was glad to get into my car, unscathed.

So what could I possibly get out that "air mail message?" In this week of love and Valentines, I think it serves us well as women to take a moment to stop and appreciate the men in our lives who don't throw Skoal at us. J Now, if you're a woman who IS the target of Flying Skoal, then stop right here, contact me at my email address, and let me help you. God does not intend for you to dodge Skoal! But for the rest of us, perhaps this week of love is the perfect time to appreciate the good qualities of the men in our world. It doesn't have to be a husband or a romantic partner; it can just be a man of character. In these days of pressure and uncertainty, our men are feeling the strain in more ways than usual, and they would be blessed by knowing that we value them. Let me give you some examples of some of the greatness in the men around me:

~ As my mom says, "There wasn't anything left of me but a greasy spot" about a week ago, and my sweet husband pitched in on his own initiative …. vacuumed, did laundry, swept, cleaned the bathroom. Now, my love language isn't "acts of service," but I can read more than one language, and that one spoke volumes to me! So kind.

~ My mom and dad came to visit while Jeff was away last weekend, and my dad brought all the fixins to cook his favorite venison chili recipe for us. Cooked it all himself AND cleaned up the mess. Yes, it was packed full of spice, but it was so kind of him to serve us. So generous.

~ We have a family phone that we let the kids use when they are "out." My almost 12 year old wants to have someone to text, but has a fairly short contact list. So, he texted a single friend of our family. In the midst of his busy work day, our friend took time to text my son, even initiating the text relay one day. It spoke volumes to my Jacob of what men are like in the body of Christ, and it blessed me to have my boy blessed. So interested in others.

~ Another man from our church, without children of his own, was cleaning out his office and saved a bag of "goodies" for our 12 year old to sample and fiddle with. So thoughtful.

~ A young boy who is a friend of our family called to invite Jeff and Jacob to a father and son evening at their church fellowship. So considerate of him to call.

~ While at our small group in Jeff's absence, I shared a prayer request. John was leading the group that night, and he was so kind to ask one of the women to pray for me right at that moment. So compassionate.

~ Tonight my son prayed for our dinner and prayed such a genuine, humble, and earnest prayer. So honest.

Valentine's Day doesn't need to be just for romance or just for dating or even just for marriage. Maybe for us as women, it's a great reminder to look for, appreciate, and affirm the Christ-like qualities we see in the boys and men around us in our families and in our churches. This is behaving in love, being the encouragement in stressful times that others need. Who is in your family? Small group? Church body? Of course we have to be discerning about who and how we affirm the men in our lives; that's loving, too. But our words of praise and blessing are welcome to the sons of Adam in times of heaviness.

I hope it won't take a can of Flying Skoal to make you stop and notice and appreciate the men and boys around you, and when we have reason to tell them we honor them, let's let them know it!

3 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Kristi said...

Glad you dodged the projectile!! :) Thanks for the thoughtful post - you have my wheels turning of what I can do!

Miss you guys... it's always nice to have a little peek into your life!

Julie said...

I was relieved to know that my reflexes are still working. :) I'm glad your wheels are turning. Love hearing about your lives, too!

Jess said...

So glad to discover your blog! I hope you've been enjoying it. I love your Valentine's thoughts...I think the trick is to affirm these men in our lives regularly. The older I get and the more stories I see/hear the more thankful I am for the Godly men in my life...primarily my dad and my husband. I do not take them for granted! It is my prayer that our son will grow up to be like these men of faith!