I remember packing my son’s lunchboxes and slipping a little note in from time to time. What the note said depended on what was happening in their young lives on that particular day. A big test; someone had been picking on them; I was the meanest mother in the world and they’d hate me forever; or, I just felt really mushy that day. The notes changed according to their needs. But, regardless of the individual message, one thing remained constant; “I love you.” There were times when that was the entire message; a goofy smiley face or a heart and the words “I love you.”
Most days, I’m sure, my note was read stealthily, as if it were a top-secret message for their eyes only; fearing ridicule from classmates who had also read their mothers’ top-secret messages, before wadding them in a ball. As embarrassing as my little notes may have been to my sons, I’m sure they also looked forward to reading them, no matter how stealthily. The little pieces of folded paper, tucked discreetly beneath their peanut butter sandwiches, let them know that they were loved. No matter what the day may have brought, they knew I had taken the time to reassure them of my unconditional love. Of course, as my sons grew older and progressed into the upper grades my notes had to stop. Embarrassment outweighed reassurance. Sigh.
I’m not ten years old--far, far from it--and I don’t carry a lunchbox to school. But, there are days that I could really use a lunchbox note. When we were children all we wanted to do was grow up, so we could do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. (Sounded good at the time, didn’t it?) The grass was always greener, and seemed so much more fun, on the other side of the fence. I don’t know about you, but the grass on this side of my fence is getting a little wilted, and takes so much more care than it once did.
Relationships are more complicated. All work and no play may make Jack a dull boy, but it puts food on the table and a roof over the head. What about recess? Not my ten-year-old idea of fun. And tests? Oh don’t get me started on tests; medical tests coming out the ears, and why can’t I ever get an A+ on them? I’d even settle for a B-. Oh, for a nap rug and a lunchbox right about now. Or rather, a lunchbox note…from God.
What would God tell us if He put notes in our lunchboxes? I think He would tell us whatever we needed to hear for each given circumstance. “I’m with you always.” “You can do all things through My strength.” “Trust in Me with all your heart.” “Well done my child.” But, no matter our circumstance, the constant message would be, “I love you unconditionally.”
We may not be ten-years old anymore. We may work more than we play. Our tests may not receive the grades we desire. Our grass may not be lush and green anymore. And we may not carry a lunchbox to hold a note. But, God still gives us messages each and every day. We just have to pay attention. His message may come through a song, or a friend’s phone call. It may come through morning devotion, or the word of a perfect stranger. His message may come as a still small voice in a crowded room, or in a mid-night dream. His message may even come as a note sent stealthily through cyberspace, landing on your brightly lit screen; sent as a random act of kindness, by not-so random friends. (Or a computer graphic.)
Pay attention! God just may be putting a note in your lunchbox. What will He tell you?