“Dee-lightful,” he exclaims in his best Julia Child impression. “Simply delightful! Now, see if you can make it even messier.”
It’s my husband, David, currently swathed in a makeshift apron of discarded curtain fabric the girls have tied over his work clothes—slightly too tight and definitely too short.
“More crumbs! Let’s make more crumbs! Your mother will be so pleased!” he shouts to his very charmed and giggly audience. “More mess! More mess!” (Thank goodness they’re only pretending…it was just Mother’s Day, after all.)
Making crumbs is just one of the games David has invented with our girls, but it’s at the top of my favorites. Ever a sucker for a great analogy, this one doesn’t disappoint. David and the bitties can pretend all they want that they are “trashing mama’s kitchen” out of its reasonably clean state (it is still quarantine, after all…) but I see the reality. The crumbs aren’t imaginary. They are very, very real and very, very delicious. David leaves crumbs of godliness, and his girls and I snack them right on up.
Sure, it seems an appropriate time to spout some kind words about my husband (it is almost Father’s Day, after all…) but truth is these words aren’t ultimately about David, but rather about the God he loves and serves—the God that has made my husband into the man he is and is transforming him into Christlikeness more and more, day by day. For David uniquely reveals and represents Jesus in such a way that I hope anyone finding themselves three hundred words into this article alongside me today might be spurred as I am. Like me, I hope you will be spurred toward humility and kindness all because of the ways David reflects Jesus.
Like Jesus, David leaves crumbs to point the way to what is real. And, like Jesus, these crumbs help his girls (myself included) find their way home. David leaves crumbs of kind words, forbearance, and steady emotion. And not like Jesus (who 1 Peter 2:22 succinctly reminds us committed no sin) but rather in a reflection of the work of the perfect God-Man in his heart–David demonstrates quick repentance. All these crumbs lead not to our physical home, but cause us to reflect on our Father’s house where there are many rooms, and where he’s promised to prepare a special place for his children, far better and more fulfilling than anything we could ask or imagine (John 14:2, Eph. 3:20).
For sure, David’s not a perfect man and I have swept my share of tortilla chip crumbs off our couch, but that quick repentance thing—that makes it all worth it. In our home, David is the chief repenter. (Let’s be real clear this doesn’t mean he’s the one who needs it the most, just that he’s the first one to do so.) As my pastor says—David magnifies his own sin. The world would hear this and shout “Weakness!” or, especially in our part of the Deep South, something horridly chauvinistic about our marital roles and how I need to go dirty up that kitchen so I can clean it again. But David has no mental compartment for such drivel; I’m suspicious he knows deep down that when he is first to demonstrate need with his own sin and shortcomings, it helps others to see theirs. It helps me see mine. It keeps us on team Mackle together. And his repentance softens the hearts of those around him, chiefly mine, and that helps all of us to reveal and reflect Christ just a little bit more. I imagine it will do the same for his girls as they grow in the Holy Spirit.
David’s qualities are not lost on the world. Every once in a while, word will trickle back to me that he won a contract because the other negotiator “wanted to work with him.” Unless we’re talking fantasy football, David is just not out for his own glory. He is out for the well-being and good of others. Yeah, it’s kinda annoying, but yeah, it reminds me of Philippians 2:5-7 where Paul speaks of conforming our minds to Christ’s: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
So until the crumbs lead to my actual-forever-heavenly-home where tortilla chip couch crumbs will either sweep themselves or spontaneously combust immediately after falling (theologians disagree . . .), I’ll just keep sweeping up David’s literal crumbs and asking God to daily increase my noticing of and thankfulness for his metaphorical crumbs.
Happy Father’s Day, DMack. You make every day more delightful.
And may we all this Father’s Day—no matter the type of emotion tied to the day—be reminded we are daughters of the God who sustains and mesmerizes us with mere whiffs from his heavenly table, a table where we are promised that one day all who proclaim the name of Christ will soon sit and dine in abundance and completion as welcome guests. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed in us.” (Rom. 8:18) Because for all of us, regardless of age or stage, the truth is it is indeed almost our heavenly day, after all.
About the Author:
Holly Mackle is the curator of the mom humor collaboration Same Here, Sisterfriend, Mostly True Tales of Misadventures in Motherhood, author of the family Advent devotional Little Hearts, Prepare Him Room, and editor at engagingmotherhood.com. She is the wife of a handsome, mama of two flower-sneaking bitties, and a fairly decent gardener and hopefully better humorist for joegardener.com. She spends most of her free time explaining to her two young girls why their hair will not do exactly what Queen Elsa’s does.