[Part 7, Chapter 45]
Our two-year-old grandson has us worked out. As a normal toddler, you could sometimes spell his name as Cheeky, or Rabbit! But these little people are smart. Whenever he’s done something impish, he looks around, holds his arms out, and goes, “Cuddle?” and knows there will be no reprimand coming—well, not from the grandparents anyway.
What I love is our daughter’s comment, “Whenever the kids come home from your place dad, I can smell your cologne on them for the rest of the evening.”
Cuddles do that.
So does favour.
Favour frees us to get into close proximity, not only with those we love, but whomever crosses our path.
Sometimes the best thing to share in that close proximity is a real cuddle. Or a glass of water. Or an encouraging word. Or a compliment. Or a smile. Or an invitation.
When you do, you are leaving your favour-scent. It clings to them long after you’ve met up, and someone else breathes it in from them.
Here’s the thing though: When I spray on cologne, I’m not thinking, “Oooh, I wonder who will smell this?” Once sprayed, it’s forgotten. I can’t even smell the scent. It’s only noticeable to those I encounter.
The flavour of Father’s favour is all about close proximity. Salt is often rubbed or mixed into those items it intends to season. It permeates.
You and I get to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour simply by being close to others, being in their lives, listening to and serving them.
What if favour really is as basic as open your heart, open your home, open your fridge.
A couple of years ago, we asked a local family over for breakfast on Easter Sunday. His reply was, “Won’t you be in church that day?”
To which my response was, “Why wouldn’t we celebrate Easter by gathering together with you over some pancakes?”
What if favour is about showing up and being seen? That would mean placing ourselves in the spaces where others show up and want to be seen.
April 2009 was our first Easter after leaving my role as pastor. We were in Mildura with relatives, John and Kaye, beautiful people who have a big heart to connect with others. They knew a number of people who, at the time, were hurting deeply, and some others who were searching. John and Kaye knew their friends wouldn’t accompany them to the local service. They also knew that celebrating Jesus’ resurrection was vitally important to those friends, even though in their grief, they had more questions than answers.
The long table was set under the autumn coloured trees in the backyard. John cranked up the barby, and a delicious hot brekky was shared. As the morning progressed, grief and tears were shed, laughter abounded, words of encouragement were given and received, the Easter account was retold, and people were blessed.
As we reflected on our time together, we all agreed, we’d received a favour cuddle. The resurrection scent still lingers.