Before Christmas, Jimmy Kimmel did something some might call cruel. He asked parents to give their children ‘terrible’ Christmas presents and to capture their reaction, their disappointment, and occasionally their anger, on video. Personally, I think that the videos that ensued were hilarious. (But then again I’m not going to be the one paying for these kid’s therapy down the road.) And…there is something beautiful about these kid’s raw and honest reactions. They haven’t learned to feign gratitude. They call a spade, a spade. They call a half-eaten sandwich, a half-eaten sandwich. (Warning: One of the boys borders on inappropriate.)
I see myself in those kids. Especially the little girl who is trying to get to the bottom of why her mother would wrap up a half-eaten peanut butter sandwich and call it a gift. She isn’t trying to be high maintenance or particular. She doesn’t want to be disrespectful. She doesn’t want to hurt her mother’s feelings. But clearly she just doesn’t get it and she can’t hide her questions, her disappointment, and her frustration.
I don’t want to seem ungrateful. I don’t want my disappointment to be misconstrued for lack of love, faith, or even trust. I don’t want to want what I don’t have.
I know that I have received gifts many people would die for. A great job. A welcoming community. A beautiful place to live. An opportunity to speak into the lives of others. But while they are more than I deserve, they aren’t what my heart so primally desires. And some days what my heart desires feels farther away than ever. To be known. To find a person to share my life with. To raise kids. To leave a legacy of love.
So here I sit, wrestling, negotiating, pleading. Wondering why He is withholding ‘the good stuff’? Wondering why the desire lies in waiting? And wondering why I can’t continue to feign gratitude about my ‘half-eaten sandwich’?
What are you feigning gratitude about? What are you wrestling over?