Isaiah... passionate about seizing life's moments. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up he tells us an NFL football player and a youth pastor. ("...like Mr. Bart and Mr. Bobby," he says thoughtfully.) Passionate about extreme. A couple of months ago, I asked him who his heroes are. He listed off a handful of NFL superstars, "...and Pastor Joe, my brothers, and Dad."
Deeply insightful, Zae loves to ask questions, "I wonder why..." and then I listen in for his next profound pondering. Compassionate, empathetic, concientious... He tends to see the big picture, miss the details... except when someone's heart is involved... when it matters.
We were in Rome and I had to keep reminding him to not climb up and jump off of everything. But then I looked over and saw he was standing perfectly still, watching something through the throng of people, and when he looked at me his eyes were brimming with tears. I didn't know what had suddenly stilled -- and touched -- my ever-active boy... until a few seconds later when I saw two clubbed-feet move slowly into view propelled by a girl sitting on a skateboard, a clumpy tennis shoe on her hand as she pushed herself along. "Can't the doctors do a surgery?" he asked, lip trembling. I explained that sometimes there isn't an opportunity for a surgery based on any number of obstacles. He didn't climb, jump, run... for a long while. He was busy thinking, taking it in, until finally he came to me with his list of ideas of how he could do his part to make it better...
Or the time we were driving away from a friend's house and were having a conversation about conflict in relationships and he said, "We just need to be really understanding that we're all mosaics and God is slowly putting together the mosaics just exactly how He knows they fit -- and one day we'll all be beautiful mosaics when we're completed!"
This boy who I watch being "sketched" by the Master Artist, strong in spirit, tender-hearted, unafraid... This boy who loves Jesus with everything in him...
Isaiah, you are a precious gift from the Lord. May you always splash God-inspired passion and faith on the people around you, the way you do now. May God's grace continue to fill you and work in you as you live from glory to glory. I pray God's blessings will flow abundantly in you and through you as you live out His adventures. May you always be so generous with your heart, resources, contagious smile, fun-loving humor... May you always be so tender-hearted and insightful toward the people God brings across your path. And I pray that you will always know how deeply, profoundly, and eternally you are loved by God... that you will know He is always at work in you and through you.
We love you Zae! Happy 12th Birthday!!!
Pictures: riding his bike off the jump, 2008; being sketched at the top of the Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy, April 17, 2009; dinner on the terrace, Rome, Italy, April 2009.