Is God Making a Mean Face at Me?
My son’s first baseball team had all the makings of the Bad News Bears. Minus the happy ending. I knew something was off at his very first game. The opposing team lined up with the parent volunteers and practiced their curve balls. Our kids climbed the backstop and practiced spitting. To start the game the parents of the opposing team made an archway by linking fingers and their kids ran through. Our kids arm wrestled for the best spot on the bench, and the parents tried to break up the fist fights. Needless to say, they went 0-12 on the season.
TJ’s losing streak continued well past his first year in T-ball. Two seasons of basketball, another go on the mound, and a season of soccer left him winless. He experienced incredible coaches, great friendships, but not a single win. Last summer he even entered a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. His team consisted of 4 kindergarteners who all fell below the 10 % line on the growth chart. They played team after team of second graders. On steroids. Two days of games in 90 degree weather and they scored exactly one point.
This year the tides have turned a bit. His basketball team won a couple of games, and the Dragons tied their first Soccer game.
Then came 5-a-side; an all day tournament of five on five soccer with shortened fields and smaller goals.
I arrived at the event with nothing but an umbrella. All the other mom’s brought tents, bar-b-ques, games for between games, homemade cookies, professional photographers, party favors, and other essentials no one told me about. I immediately felt like the lamest mom ever. The look on my son’s face seemed to agree.
As if the smell of roasting hot dogs was not cruel enough, the Dragons lost every game . By at least ten goals. My husband was only able to make the final game of the tournament, and by the time he arrived TJ’s frustration was welling up. At half time, and down by six, coach tried to give the kids a pep talk. TJ responded by bursting into tears. Coach put a hand on his shoulder and began to offer a word of encouragement. To which TJ looked up, still sobbing, and yelled “my dad is making a mean face at me . . . he’s mad we’re losing.”
At least 600 parents put down their hamburger flippers and glared at my husband. I burst into hysterics just happy to no longer be the lamest parent on the field. My husband threw his hands in the air trying to plead his innocence with the profound argument, “really, it’s just my face . . . I always look like this.” My son wiped his eyes, lost the game, and milked the moment by demanding ice cream for dinner.
As I watched my son melt down on the Soccer field, I felt a strange camaraderie with him.
You see, I had this moment last week where I looked at my life and genuinely believed that God must be angry with me. That my current losing streak could only be explained as me having fallen out of God’s favor. I literally had this moment when I turned to the heavens and accused God of looking at me with a mean face.
It is a strange dilemma to believe that everything in our life comes only through God’s filter, only by his allowance, only in His time. And then also to believe that He is the healer of the hurts He allowed, the redeemer of our untimely debts, the shield to the arrows He did not intercept. It brings new meaning to the term “seeking the face of God.” It brings a longing to interpret what it is that I see.
Yet, my interpretations are always flawed. Because God measures all things by eternity and I can only see the temporal. The only solution I have is to be like my son. I may have a moment of melt down, but in the end I must always turn to God and ask for ice cream.
A dear friend of mine was diagnosed with stage IV cancer this week. There is no explanation (this side of heaven) for her suffering that I will ever accept. On her blog was the following comment: “I will scream at God, and then I will pray.”
Sometimes, that is all we can do. Scream because we do not understand. Pray because He does.